A longitudinal evaluation of dipyridamole drug use in an ambulatory elderly population.

Chest

PubMedID: 7705115

Stewart RB, Marks RG, Padgett PD, Hale WE. A longitudinal evaluation of dipyridamole drug use in an ambulatory elderly population. Chest. 1995;107(4):1049-52.
STUDY OBJECTIVE
To determine the pattern of dipyridamole use over the past 14 years.

DESIGN
A longitudinal health screening program of ambulatory elderly participants was used to study changes in dipyridamole drug use. Participants included all subjects screened in the Florida Geriatric Research Program since 1978. The main outcome measure in this study was self-reported dipyridamole use at every visit to the program since August 1, 1978.

RESULTS
A total of 3.6% of men (mean age, 82.6 years) and 3.4% of women (mean age, 80.8 years) reported the use of dipyridamole in the 1991-1992 period. The prevalence of dipyridamole use ranged from a low of 1.6% in 1978-1979 to a high of 7.3% in 1986-1987. There was a significant increase in the use of this drug from 1978-1979 to 1991-1992 (p < 0.038). Over the 14-year period of study, the percent of subjects using dipyridamole concurrently with coumarin anticoagulants ranged from a low of 5.8% to a high of 17.9%.

CONCLUSIONS
The level of dipyridamole use in this elderly population has increased since 1978-1979. The only FDA indication for this drug is in combination with coumarin anticoagulants to prevent postoperative thromboembolic complications of cardiac valve replacement. Less than 20% of patients in this study used the drug in combination with coumarin anticoagulants. Educational programs are needed to improve the prescribing of dipyridamole.