NSAID Pain Drugs Injure Small Intestine
Among Daily Users of Aspirin-Like Drugs, 71% Have Small Intestine Injury
Meaning of Small Intestine Injuries Not Clear continued...
Scheiman notes that small intestine injury linked to traditional NSAIDs isn't as dramatic as the stomach bleeding seen in a small proportion of those who take the drugs. Indeed, Graham notes that traditional NSAIDs cause problems in a small but significant percentage of people. But that has to be balanced against the great good that they do.
"People take these drugs because they get such benefits," Graham says. "Before we had them, if you had pain, you had pain. Now people with chronic arthritis pain can walk and go back to work."
Graham argues that some traditional NSAIDs are much safer than others.
"Feldene is always leading the list of NSAIDs linked to problems," he says. "The less-dangerous ones are ibuprofen or naproxen. But NSAIDs are remarkable for their ability to cause damage. Some shouldn't even be on the market. Now we can do studies to find which ones we should eliminate."
Scheiman echoes Graham's warning.
"People shouldn't use NSAIDs willy nilly," Scheiman says. "One of my areas of concern is the widespread use of aspirin. A lot of the patients in the Graham study were just on low-dose aspirin."