PURPOSE: To evaluate the development in the use of medications associated with an increased risk of developing osteoporosis over the time period from 1999 to 2016.
METHODS: We extracted data on total sale, sales rate and usage rate for the medications of interest from www.medstat.dk, which is an online, open-source database reporting the monthly sale of both over-the-counter and prescription-based medications in Denmark. The dataset covers both the primary and secondary health sectors.
RESULTS: Most medications exhibited an increasing use from 1999 to 2016, though some had stable (e.g. glucocorticoids) or declining use. Notably, some medications showed widespread and increasing use, including proton pump inhibitors (PPI), selective serotonine reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and venlafaxine. For PPI, sales rates increased by 461% from 1999 to 2016, with 9% of men and 11.4% of women filling at least one prescription in 2016. The use of SSRI and venlafaxine increased by 114% and 613%, respectively. This was more pronounced in women and for SSRI also in the elderly (80+ years). The sale of aromatase inhibitors was moderate (1-10 DDD per 1000 capita per day) in 2016, yet grew by 2400% from 1999, almost exclusively in women aged 80?years or older.
CONCLUSION: We found a trend of increasing use from 1999 to 2016 of most medications with a potential for causing osteoporosis, often most pronounced in fracture risk groups (postmenopausal women and/or in the elderly). This may play a clinically relevant role in both current and future causality of osteoporosis.