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One drug leads to another, new research confirms
About the author: 

It could be called the slippery slope of pharmaceuticals: once you start taking one drug, you'll quickly need another

It could be called the slippery slope of pharmaceuticals: once you start taking one drug, you'll quickly need another. Researchers have outlined the familiar pattern by reviewing the drug-taking profile of the typical arthritis sufferer, who takes an NSAID for the inflammation, then a proton pump inhibitor to stop stomach damage the NSAID might cause - and the combination of the two harms the small intestine...and so another drug is needed.
The new study is the first to recognise that the combination of the two drugs causes damage to the small intestine - and that is a far harder problem to resolve than any harm the NSAID might do to the large intestine.
The combination is typical in the arthritis sufferer, say researchers from the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute. The arthritis sufferer takes an NSAID - such as aspirin - to reduce inflammation and control joint pain. But the patient knows that NSAIDs cause stomach bleeding and ulcers - so he also takes a proton pump inhibitor to reduce stomach acid, and so lower the NSAID's risks.
But the chemical cocktail of the two drugs damages the small intestine, which suggests yet another drug. However, say the researchers, probiotics may be a non-drug solution to the problem.
(Source: Gastroenterology, 2011; doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2011.06.075).


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