Gastrointestinal risks associated with over the counter NSAIDs have been in the media spotlight recently, creating confusion and anxiety among patients. Dr Alison Jones, consultant physician and medical toxicologist, explains the risks of Gl side effects with OTC analgesicsNon-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are widely prescribed for inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, and used OTC to treat mild-to-moderate pain. Worldwide, NSAIDs are one of the most commonly used classes of drug to control pain and inflammation, with an estimated 30 million people taking them every day for a range of conditions. The British National Formulary lists over 20 different NSAIDs, some of which- aspirin, ibuprofen, piroxicam and felbinac- are also available OTC in oral, topical and suspension forms. Around 60 per cent of patients will respond to any one NSAID.
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