[en] Objective: Our goal was to identify the magnitude of gastro-protective drugs (GPDs) co-prescription and the profile of patients who received GPD co-prescription, during nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) treatment in a "real life setting" of primary care practice. Methods: A pragmatic prospective 6-month survey of 2197 new takers of nonselective NSAIDs, selected and followed by general practitioners (GPs) on the bias of their usual standards of care. Results: Forty-seven percent of our survey population used at least one GPD during the 6-month follow-up. No difference was identified between piroxicam, diclofenac, ibuprofen, meloxicam and nimesulid for the GPD co-prescription. Besides the presence of gastro-intestinal (GI) symptoms, previous use of GPD, previous occurrence of GI disorders and increase in age are the most prominent predictive factors of GPD use during NSAID treatment. When adjusted for other risk factors, co-prescription of GPD was significantly increased in patients aged 55 years and above (odds ratio (OR): 1.29, 95% confidence interval (Cl): 1.01-1.64) with no further increase in the co-prescription in older subjects. Conclusion: Patients above 55 years with previous history of GI symptoms or GPD use are more likely to benefit from cytoprotective medications. (C) 2006 OsteoArthritis Research Society International. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.