Risk of gastrointestinal bleeding varies by drug type, dose

Risk of GI complications due to NSAID use varies by specific drug and by dosage, according to research.

Arthritis Rheum. 2010;62:1592-1601. [June 2010]

The risk of gastrointestinal (GI) complications due to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use varies by the specific drug used and by dosage, and those with a slow-release formulation or long half-life are associated with a greater risk, according to researchers from the Spanish Centre for Pharmacoepidemiologic Research in Madrid, Spain. They conducted a systematic review of observational studies from 2000 to 2008 on NSAIDs and upper GI bleeding or perforation. The relative risk of upper GI bleeding/perforation was 4.50 for traditional NSAIDs and 1.88 for coxibs. Relative risks varied widely for specific drugs. NSAIDs with a longer plasma half-life or extended-release formulations and those that inhibited both COX-1 and COX-2 were associated with a higher risk of upper GI bleeding.