A study of codispensing with sodium alendronate in Australia

Authors

  • Ian W. Boyd,

    1. Adverse Drug Reactions Unit, Therapeutic Goods Administration, Department of Health and Ageing and Therapeutic Goods Administration, Department of Health and Ageing, Woden, and
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  • John McEwen,

    1. Adverse Drug Reactions Unit, Therapeutic Goods Administration, Department of Health and Ageing and Therapeutic Goods Administration, Department of Health and Ageing, Woden, and
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  • Lisa J. Calcino

    1. Information Services Branch, Health Insurance Commission (known as Medicare Australia from 1 October 2005), Tuggeranong, Australia
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Ian W. Boyd, Adverse Drug Reactions Unit, Therapeutic Goods Administration, Department of Health and Ageing, PO Box100, Woden, ACT, 2606, Australia. Tel.: + 61 2 6232 8382 Fax: + 61 2 6232 8392 E-mail: ian.boyd@health.gov.au

Abstract

Aim

To estimate the percentage of patients dispensed alendronate who were also dispensed another drug for treatment of an upper gastrointestinal disorder (‘GI’ drug).

Methods

The Australian Health Insurance Commission (HIC) Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) database was searched to identify a cohort of patients for whom alendronate or calcitriol had been dispensed and had also been dispensed a GI drug.

Results

The number of patients dispensed a GI drug were 6.7% for alendronate and 7.5% for calcitriol with H2-receptor antagonists accounting for the majority of usage. This difference of − 0.8% (95% confidence interval −1.6, 0.1) is not significant.

Conclusion

There was no excess use of GI drugs in patients taking alendronate compared with those taking calcitriol and the Australian HIC PBS database is useful for identifying large numbers of patients who have been dispensed combinations of drugs.

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