Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug gastropathy: new avenues for safety
Sanford H Roth
Arizona Research and Education, Arthritis Laboratory, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ, USA
Abstract: Chronic oral or systemic nonselective nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) therapy, ubiquitously used by physicians to treat osteoarthritis-associated pain, is associated with a wide range of symptomatic adverse events, the most frequent and serious of which is gastropathy. Although cardiovascular and renal problems are a very real concern, they are significantly less frequent. These complications can be life-threatening in at-risk populations such as older adults, who are common users of long-term oral systemic NSAID therapy. Topical NSAID formulations deliver effective doses of analgesics directly to the affected joints, thereby limiting systemic exposure and potentially the risk of systemic adverse events, such as gastropathy and serious cardiovascular events. There are currently two topical NSAIDs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for osteoarthritis-associated pain, as well as for the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis. This review discusses the relative safety, and the gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and renal risks of chronic oral or systemic NSAID therapy and topical NSAID formulations in patients with osteoarthritis.
Keywords: NSAIDs, osteoarthritis, topical administration, synovial fluid, peptic ulcer, Helicobacter pylori