Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Arthritis Research & Therapy and BioMed Central.

This article is part of the supplement: Gastroprotective NSAIDS

Highly Accessed Review

The use of H2 antagonists in treating and preventing NSAID-induced mucosal damage

Anne Tuskey* and David Peura

Author Affiliations

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, University of Virginia Health System, 1215 Lee Street, Charlottesville, VA322903, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2013, 15(Suppl 3):S6  doi:10.1186/ar4178

Published: 24 July 2013

Abstract

Pain affects the quality of life for millions of individuals and is a major reason for healthcare utilization. As populations age, medical personnel will need to manage more and more patients suffering from pain associated with degenerative and inflammatory musculoskeletal disorders. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are an effective treatment for both acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain; however, their use is associated with potentially significant gastrointestinal (GI) toxicity. Guidelines suggest various strategies to prevent problems in those at risk for NSAID-associated GI complications. In this article, we review the data supporting one such strategy - the use of histamine type-2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs) - for the prevention of GI adverse events in NSAID users. Older studies suggest that high-dose H2RAs are effective in preventing upper GI ulcers and dyspepsia. This suggestion was recently confirmed during clinical trials with a new ibuprofen/famotidine combination that reduced the risk of ulcers by 50% compared with ibuprofen alone.