Approaches to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use in the high-risk patient

Gastroenterology. 2001 Feb;120(3):594-606. doi: 10.1053/gast.2001.21907.


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are probably the most common cause of gastroduodenal injury in the United States today. Approximately half of patients who regularly take NSAIDs have gastric erosions, and 15%-30% have ulcers when they are examined endoscopically. However, the incidence of clinical gastrointestinal (GI) events caused by NSAIDs is much lower. Clinical upper GI events may occur in 3%-4.5% of patients taking NSAIDs, and serious complicated events develop in approximately 1.5%. However, the risk varies widely in relationship to clinical features such as history of ulcers or GI events, age, concomitant anticoagulant or steroid use, and NSAID dose. This review discusses the risks of clinical GI disease in NSAID users, the predictors of increased risk, and strategies for prevention of NSAID-associated GI disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects*
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / economics
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Digestive System / drug effects
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors