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Table 1 Classification of prescription changes

From: The association between prescription change frequency, chronic disease score and hospital admissions: a case control study

Classification Definition
1. Change in dosage Change in dosage means that, for the same drug, the daily dosage is increased or decreased (e.g., amitriptyline 25 mg changes in amitryptyline 10 mg or vv).
2a. Product formulation switch Metoprolol 50 mg plain tablet instead of metoprolol slow release tablet (Selokeen ZOC®).
2b. Generic brand switch Change to another product containing the same active substance with the same strength and the same dosage (e.g., atenolol 50 mg tablet (generic product) instead of Tenormin® 50 mg tablet (brand) or Renitec® 10 mg tablet (brand) instead of enalapril 10 mg tablet).
2c. Therapeutic switch Change to another active substance within the same therapeutic group; the first four characters of the ATC classification are the same (e.g. amitriptyline (N06AA09) instead of citalopram (N06AB04) or fluoxetine (N06AB03) instead of citalopram (N06AB04)).
3. Stop No continuation 90 days after one of the five control time points and no generic-brand substitution (1), product formulation switch (2) ortherapeutic switch (3).
4. Start Start of a drug means prescription of a drug which had not been prescribed during the previous six months and which is not a generic brand substitution (1), product formulation switch (2) or therapeutic switch (3).