Balancing cardiovascular and gastrointestinal risks in patients with osteoarthritis receiving NSAIDs

Wassim Mosleh, Michael E. Farkouh

Full article

A PDF of the full version of the article, published in Polish Archives of Internal Medicine, can be accessed free of charge here.


Over the past 2 decades, extensive research has assessed the use of traditional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and the newer cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor drugs, in the treatment of chronic pain syndromes. The proper use of NSAIDs has been the subject of significant debate, bringing together multidisciplinary researchers and clinicians to discuss the risks and benefits of these therapies. Current guidelines discussing the proper use of NSAIDs do not address the issue of the risks of COX-2-selective NSAIDs and nonselective NSAIDs for both the gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems in patients on low-dose aspirin. Accordingly, a multidisciplinary expert group was organized to review the current evidence with the aim of developing statements devoted to guide clinicians in making evidence-based and individualized selections of NSAIDs.

This review will discuss and summarize the most recent evidence on this topic to give an insight into the most effective and safest therapeutic options, thus preventing serious adverse CV and GI events. NSAIDs should be used cautiously and as infrequently as possible, with nonpharmacological approaches prescribed first. If the use of NSAIDs is required, the choice should balance the possible CV and GI risks.

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