Assessment of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) damage in the human gastrointestinal tract

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2003 Aug;56(2):146-55. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2125.2003.01934.x.


Aspirin is widely prescribed and confers considerable benefit to patients by reducing cardiovascular and cerebrovascular morbidity and mortality. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are effective analgesics, antipyretics and reduce the inflammatory component in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. However, both agents are associated with an increased risk of gastrointestinal symptoms and the potentially serious consequences of gastroduodenal ulceration, bleeding and perforation. The introduction of highly selective cyclo-oxygenase (COX)-2 inhibitors or the coprescription gastroprotective agents with nonselective NSAIDs have offered strategies to reduce the incidence of such events. This review article analyzes the quantitative techniques that can be employed by clinical pharmacologists and the clinical studies performed to assess NSAID damage in the gastrointestinal tract.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects*
  • Aspirin / adverse effects
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal
  • Gastric Mucosa
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Lactones / adverse effects
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Prognosis
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Recurrence
  • Sulfones


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors
  • Isoenzymes
  • Lactones
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Sulfones
  • rofecoxib
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • PTGS2 protein, human
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases
  • Aspirin