New guidance on NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) use is urgently needed to ensure the best patient care, European experts said today. The news coincides with the results from a European survey of 626 arthritis patients which found that many are confused and worried about the potential side-effects of their medication.
Primary care physicians now face an increasingly limited range of prescribing options for long-term arthritis pain management, following the withdrawal of Vioxx (rofecoxib) and the suspension of Bextra (valdecoxib), and the safety restrictions on the use of remaining drugs in the COX-2 selective NSAID class.
All NSAIDs – which include aspirin and ibuprofen – carry a risk of distressing and sometimes fatal upper gastrointestinal (GI) side-effects. For example, each year in the UK NSAIDs cause approximately 3,500 hospitalisations for, and 400 deaths from, ulcer bleeding in patients aged 60 years and above.
Lucy Hughes | alfa
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