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News

NSAIDs as a risk factor for acute diarrhoea

Recent non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug intake emerges as a risk factor for acute diarrhoea, find researchers in the February issue of Gut.

News image

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Several cases of acute colitis induced by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been reported.

However, the role of recent NSAID intake as a risk factor for acute diarrhoea has not been studied.

Relative risks of acute diarrhoea due to recent NSAID intake were increased for all 3 risk periods.
Gut

In this study, researchers from France determined whether the risk of acute diarrhoea is increased by NSAIDs.

The research team assessed a prospective series of acute diarrhoea cases, seen by general practitioners (GPs) in France that were serious enough to require a stool culture.

A total of 285 consecutive patients with acute diarrhoea were seen by GPs between 1998 and 1999. These patients were enrolled in a case crossover study in which each case served as his or her own control.

The GPs collected information on exposure to NSAIDs during the 4 month period preceding the onset of diarrhoea.

The team estimated the relative risk of NSAID-related acute diarrhoea by comparing exposure to NSAIDs preceding the onset of diarrhoea, with exposure during the first part of the 4 month observation period.

The research team considered 3 risk periods lasting for 1, 3, and 6 days before the onset of diarrhoea.

The team found that the relative risks of acute diarrhoea due to recent NSAID intake were increased for all 3 risk periods.

These risks were 2.9 for the 1 day risk period, 2.7 for the 3 day period, and 3.3 for the 6 day period.

Dr Etienney's team concluded, "Recent NSAID intake emerges as a risk factor for acute diarrhoea".

"We suggest that acute diarrhoea seen in general practice, and not only acute colitis seen by gastroenterologists, should be considered as a potential complication of recent NSAID intake".

Gut 2003; 52: 260-3
15 January 2003

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