Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are one of the most commonly prescribed agents, especially for elderly patients. These drugs frequently produce mucosal petechiae and erosions in the stomach and duodenum, but these conditions are rarely of clinical significance. NSAIDs, however, cause considerable morbidity and mortality due to their ability to cause gastric and duodenal ulcers. NSAID-induced ulcers are most likely to develop in elderly women receiving multiple NSAIDs for prolonged periods. NSAIDs injure gastric and duodenal mucosa by both a topical and a systemic effect. The latter is responsible for the pathogenesis of NSAID-associated ulcers. These ulcers are particularly prone to perforation and hemorrhage. Both complications frequently occur in asymptomatic long-term users of NSAIDs. H2 antagonists prevent NSAID-related duodenal ulcers but are not effective for prevention of gastric ulcers. Misoprostol is the only agent proven to decrease the risk of gastric ulcers in patients receiving NSAIDs. Both H2 antagonists and omeprazole are highly effective for the treatment of established duodenal ulcers in patients receiving NSAIDs. H2 antagonists also heal gastric ulcers in these patients but at slower rates than in patients not receiving NSAIDs. The existing literature is reviewed, and guidelines for prophylaxis against NSAID-induced ulcers and treatment of established ulcers are provided.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|State||Published - Jun 1993|
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