Dyspepsia in NSAID users: The size of the problem

Edwin N. Larkai, J. Lacey Smith, Martin D. Lidsky, Sandra Lee Sessoms, David Y. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Gastroduodenal intolerance is one of the major factors limiting the use of aspirin and other nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in patients with rheumatic diseases. We previously demonstrated that dyspepsia was not a marker for ulcer in NSAID users. We have now evaluated dyspeptic symptoms in 245 arthritic patients (receiving 13 different NSAIDs) from the practices of two rheumatologists. Fifty-seve patients (23%) gave a history of previous peptic ulcers. Heartburn, indigestion, or sour stomach at least once within the past year was present in 62.5%; 36.7% had experienced these symptoms within the previous 2 months and 28.6% within the previous week. Only 39 patients (15.9%) had experienced dyspepsia more than once daily within the previous month, and 8 (3.3%) had dyspepsia >5 times/day. Thirty-four of the 39 patients with daily dyspepsia claimed to obtain relief with cimetidine or antacids (34 patients) or food (2 patients), whereas 3 had not discovered anything that provided relief. Women smokers were more likely than nonsmokers to experience dyspepsia (p < 0.001). Neither men smokers nor those with a history of previous ulcer were more likely to have dyspepsia than nonsmokers or those without a history of ulcer (p < 0.5). We were not able to find a statistical association between any NSAID, or combination of NSAIDs, and the frequency of dyspepsia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-162
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989


  • Dyspepsia
  • Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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