Could Failing to Take Your Medication Lead to Internal Bleeding?

Could forgetting to take your medication regularly increase your risk of stomach ulcers and internal bleeding?

Many people with arthritis are prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to ease their symptoms. Although these drugs do their job well, they can lead to irritation of the lining of the stomach and oesophagus.

To prevent this irritation, which increases the risk of ulcers and bleeding, doctors also prescribe medicines to use with the NSAIDs. These drugs are known as gastroprotective agents (GPAs).

Taking both drugs as prescribed will reduce symptoms of arthritis and reduce the risk of ulcers and internal bleeding. But forgetting to take your GPAs regularly could lead to problems.

With more and more people being prescribed a type of NSAID designed to cause less irritation to the stomach, known as COX-2 inhibitors, research was needed to see if failure to take GPAs with the latest drugs had the same effect.

A study of nearly 15,000 people using COX-2 inhibitors, which include celecoxib and etoricoxib, led researchers to estimate that your risk of internal bleeding or developing ulcers increases by nine percent for every three days out of 30 you fail to take your GPA.

Not all patients taking COX-2 inhibitors are prescribed a GPA, which doctors tend to reserve for those at higher risk.

But any research like this shows the importance of taken medication prescribed to avoid other, unrelated health issues, as well as keeping your arthritis under control.

Common symptoms of a stomach ulcer is a burning pain in your abdomen that may travel up to your neck and signs of internal bleeding include vomiting blood and passing dark stools.

If you experience any of these symptoms you should seek medical help immediately.

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