Long term users of NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs) have an increased risk of developing ulcers of the small intestine, which can be life threatening.
While the medical industry has long known that NSAIDs could lead to inflammation of the small intestine, a study group based at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary wanted to investigate the prevalence of the problem.
They examined the stomach, duodenum and small intestine of 713 patients post mortem. Of these, 249 had had NSAIDs prescribed during the six months before death.
Ulcers in the small intestine were found in 21 of the users of NSAIDs against three of the non users. Three patients who were long term users of the drugs died from perforated ulcers in the small intestine.