Use of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs in an elderly population registered with a Family Health Program

Luísa Scheer Ely Paula Engroff Samilla Roversi Guiselli Gabriele Carlos Cardoso Fernanda Bueno Morrone Geraldo Attilio De Carli About the authors

Abstract

The aim of this study was to analyze the prevalence of the use of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs among elderly persons from the Family Health Program in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, and investigate associated factors such as sociodemographic and health data; continuous or as needed use of drug, drug used subject to medical prescription or self-medicated. Data collection occurred between March 2011 and December 2012. Community health workers applied a questionnaire relating to sociodemographic and health data and medication use. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, glucocorticoids, non-opioid analgesics and opioids were evaluated. A total of 758 elderly persons were included and anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs were used by 28.8% of the population. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen were the most frequently used drugs. Regarding self-perception of health, the worse the perception of health, the greater was the use of therapy (p<0.001). Liver disease and osteoarthritis/arthritis/rheumatism were found to be associated with anti-inflammatory and analgesic use (p<0.001). The prevalence of anti-inflammatory and analgesic use was considered moderate when compared to previous studies (28.8%). In addition, most of the elderly persons used the drugs when only needed, most probably due to feeling minor to moderate pain or because they had suffered the adverse effects of these medications in the past and so chose to use them sporadically.

Elderly; Family Health Strategy; Anti-Inflammatory Agents; Analgesics/adverse effects

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