Use of potentially inappropriate medications may result in increased morbidity, mortality and resource utilisation. Due to polypharmacy and age-related decline in renal function the elderly population is at particular risk. Therefore, the Beers Criteria include use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in chronic renal failure stage 4 and 5 as these drugs may worsen renal function. According to the summary of product characteristics, the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ibuprofen and diclofenac are contraindicated in these patients.
Objective was to assess the extent of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use in nursing homes with a focus on residents with severe renal failure.
Multi-centre cross-sectional study in 21 German nursing homes. The study population comprised residents for whom at least one serum creatinine value and information about sex were available, so that creatinine clearance rate could be estimated.
In all, 685 of 852 residents were included as they fulfilled the abovementioned criteria. Renal failure was severe (estimated creatinine clearance rate < 30 ml/min) in 106 residents (15.5 %). Approximately one-fifth was treated with at least one nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug in both the total study population (20.3 %) and that with severe renal failure (20.8 %). With one exception, all residents prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with severe renal failure were treated with at least one nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that was contraindicated due to the underlying renal function.
Notwithstanding their classification as potentially inappropriate medications and underlying contraindications, use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is common among nursing home residents with severe renal failure.