Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study Shows People Unaware Of Harmful Effects Of Painkillers

Date:
November 22, 2005
Source:
American Gastroenterological Association
Summary:
According to a study supported by the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), over-the-counter and prescription painkillers are often used inappropriately and there is an alarming number of people who are ignorant to the potential side effects. The study is published in the November issue of the Journal of Rheumatology.

According to a study supported by the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), over-the-counter and prescription painkillers are often used inappropriately and there is an alarming number of people who are ignorant to the potential side effects. Despite the widespread use of store-bought and prescription painkillers, also known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), this is the first study to look at the characteristics of the population who frequently uses painkillers and their attitudes and behaviors. The study is published in the November issue of the Journal of Rheumatology.

"This study shows just how common these medications are used and highlights the lack of insight into their potential dangers," said C. Mel Wilcox, MD, lead study author from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. "The findings paint a clear picture of the need for patient and physician education efforts and interventions to help prevent unnecessary complications from painkillers."

A nationwide survey of adult households in the United States was commissioned to determine perceptions of NSAIDs users on the effectiveness of the drugs and their safety, and knowledge regarding side effects and medical complications associated with over-the-counter and prescription painkillers. NSAID users were defined in the study as those people who used prescription or over-the-counter painkillers on at least two occasions in the year prior to the survey for at least five consecutive days at a time.

Of the 807 people surveyed who used NSAIDs, 54 percent were not aware of the potential side effects of these drugs and 18 percent has previously experienced side effects. Those who used over-the-counter painkillers commonly experienced side effects such as stomach pain, internal bleeding and ulcers. Moreover, nearly 30 percent of these people did not consider themselves at risk for any side effects associated with painkiller use. Similar numbers of people who exclusively used prescription painkillers were unaware of their risks and experienced complications.

Everyday more than 36 million people take over-the-counter and prescription NSAIDs for pain relief, headaches and arthritis, with nearly 25 percent exceeding the recommended dosage. Although long-term use of NSAIDs in high doses can provide great benefit in terms of anti-inflammatory effects, pain relief and cardioprotective effects, there is an increased risk of gastrointestinal complications ranging from stomach pain to ulcers, hemorrhage, and severe and potentially deadly gastrointestinal problems. Each year, the side effects of long-term NSAID use cause nearly 103,000 hospitalizations and 16,500 deaths by some estimates.

In 2003, the AGA launched the R.E.D.U.C.E. (Risk Education to Decrease Ulcer Complications and Their Effects from NSAIDs) Campaign to help explain the potentially harmful effects of NSAIDs and how Americans can lower their risk for serious gastrointestinal problems. The findings of this study make programs like the R.E.D.U.C.E. campaign relevant and useful to the population of people who use painkillers regularly and the physicians who treat them. Pfizer provided funding for the R.E.D.U.C.E. campaign.

###

More information for consumers about the possible risks associated with NSAIDs is available at www.2reduce.org.

About the AGA
The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) is dedicated to the mission of advancing the science and practice of gastroenterology. Founded in 1897, the AGA is the oldest medical-specialty society in the United States. Comprised of two non-profit organizations--the AGA and the AGA Institute--our more than 14,500 members include physicians and scientists who research, diagnose and treat disorders of the gastrointestinal tract and liver. The AGA, a 501(c6) organization, administers all membership and public policy activities, while the AGA Institute, a 501(c3) organization, runs the organization's practice, research and educational programs. On a monthly basis, the AGA Institute publishes two highly respected journals, Gastroenterology and Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. The organization's annual meeting is Digestive Disease Week®, which is held each May and is the largest international gathering of physicians, researchers and academics in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Gastroenterological Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Gastroenterological Association. "Study Shows People Unaware Of Harmful Effects Of Painkillers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 November 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051121165432.htm>.
American Gastroenterological Association. (2005, November 22). Study Shows People Unaware Of Harmful Effects Of Painkillers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051121165432.htm
American Gastroenterological Association. "Study Shows People Unaware Of Harmful Effects Of Painkillers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051121165432.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) — As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) — Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) — Sixteen large food and beverage companies in the United States that committed to cut calories in their products far surpassed their target. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) — Haitians receive the second dose of the vaccine against cholera as part of the UN's vaccination campaign. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins