This article is part of the supplement: Gastroprotective NSAIDS
The use of H2 antagonists in treating and preventing NSAID-induced mucosal damage
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, University of Virginia Health System, 1215 Lee Street, Charlottesville, VA322903, USA
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2013, 15(Suppl 3):S6 doi:10.1186/ar4178Published: 24 July 2013
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.