Heinz F. Hammer, MD
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Hammer H.; Misoprostol and Gastrointestinal Complications in Patients Taking Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Ann Intern Med. 1996;124:927. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-124-10-199605150-00017
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1996;124(10):927.
TO THE EDITOR:
Silverstein and colleagues  have shown that prophylactic treatment with misoprostol reduces serious gastrointestinal complications in patients receiving NSAIDs but does not save lives. Although the approximately 50% reduction in the number of complications seems impressive at first glance, the clinical relevance of this finding is questionable. The absolute number of complications was reduced by only 17 in a total of more than 4400 treated patients. In addition, of these 4400 patients, more than 1600 had symptoms during NSAID treatment, and another 234 developed symptoms that caused them to withdraw from the study. Thus, dyspeptic symptoms were not satisfactorily addressed by the treatment in 42% of patients in the misoprostol group.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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