Ulcers: Everyday Pain Relief (cont.)

KETOPROFEN
Actron, Orudis KT

  • How it works. Ketoprofen blocks the effects of chemicals that increase the feeling of pain.
  • Benefits. Ketoprofen can lower fevers, ease pain, and reduce inflammation.
  • Side effects and risks. People with ulcers should not use ketoprofen unless their health care providers say it's safe. Ketoprofen can cause or aggravate ulcers. It also causes other gastrointestinal symptoms, such as heartburn, upset stomach, or pain.

    Drinking alcohol while using ketoprofen increases the risk of GI problems. Ketoprofen my also increase the risks of heart attacks and strokes. The FDA now requires that drug companies highlight these risks.

    This drug isn't safe during the last three months of pregnancy. In some cases, ketoprofen can slow down the body's natural healing process.

NAPROXEN SODIUM
Aleve

  • How it works. Naproxen sodium blocks the effects of chemicals that increase the feeling of pain.
  • Benefits. Naproxen sodium can lower fevers, ease pain, and reduce inflammation.
  • Side effects and risks. People with ulcers should not use naproxen sodium unless their health care providers say it's safe. Naproxen sodium can cause or aggravate ulcers. It also causes other gastrointestinal symptoms, such as heartburn, upset stomach, or pain.

    Drinking alcohol while using naproxen sodium increases the risk of GI problems. Naproxen sodium may also increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. The FDA now requires that drug companies highlight these risks.

    This drug isn't safe during the last three months of pregnancy. In some cases, naproxen sodium can slow down the body's natural healing process.

PRESCRIPTION PAINKILLERS

Many painkillers -- including higher doses of NSAIDs -- are available by prescription. Since they are more powerful versions of over-the-counter NSAIDs, they often have the same or greater risks. Some examples are Daypro, Indocin, Lodine, Naprosyn, Relafen, and Voltaren.

Cox-2 inhibitors are a newer kind of NSAID. These medicines have recently come under fire for their dangers. Although these drugs are supposed to have fewer gastrointestinal side effects than standard NSAIDs, they can still cause some of the same problems. They may also raise the risks of heart attack and stroke.

Two of these drugs, Vioxx and Bextra, have been taken off the market because of various side effects. Celebrex is still available.

Narcotics are another type of prescription painkiller. Examples include OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin. These drugs are only used in people with severe chronic pain. They don't pose a risk for people with ulcers. They do have other side effects, including constipation, fatigue, and a risk of addiction.

Published May 2005.


SOURCES: Byron Cryer, MD, spokesman, American Gastroenterological Association; associate professor of medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas. Nieca Goldberg, MD, spokeswoman, American Heart Association; chief of Women's Cardiac Care at Lennox Hill Hospital, New York City. Phillip E. Korenblat, MD, spokesman, American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology; professor of clinical medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis. American Academy of Family Physicians web site. American Heart Association web site. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology web site. American College of Gastroenterology web site. American Gastroenterological Association web site. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases web site. U.S. Food and Drug Administration web site. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Women's Health Information Center web site.

©1996-2005 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.
Last Editorial Review: 5/27/2005 12:27:58 PM



STAY INFORMED

Get the Latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!