Primary Health Care Research & Development

Short Report

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs prescribing in chronic kidney disease: an observational study

Sunil Bhopala1, James Chana1, Oliver Ellisa1, Sarah Grahama1, Stephen Halpina1, Thomas Lawrencea1 c1, Joseph Lawsa1 and Anne-Marie Howesa2

a1 School of Medicine, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

a2 Academic Unit of Primary Care, Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, Leeds, UK


Aim This study assessed the prescription of potentially nephrotoxic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in general practice.

Background CKD poses a considerable disease burden in the UK. Guidelines state that caution should be exercised when prescribing NSAIDs to CKD patients, due to increased risk of rapid kidney disease progression.

Methods We reviewed the medical records of 1427 patients with CKD Stages 3–5 in seven general practices in West Yorkshire.

Findings A total of 792 (55.5%) were prescribed NSAIDs; 128 (9%) of these were prescribed NSAIDs excluding low-dose aspirin. Twenty-three (20.2%) patients who were prescribed NSAIDs had no record of CKD monitoring in the preceding year.

Conclusion Prescription of NSAIDs is likely to be contributing to unnecessary renal impairment.

(Received June 14 2009)

(Accepted November 25 2009)

(Online publication March 10 2010)

Key words

  • family practice;
  • chronic kidney disease;
  • NSAIDs;
  • prescribing


c1 Correspondence to: Thomas Lawrence, Room 7.09 Worsley Building, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK. Email: