Spanish doctors performed a case control study to establish whether nitric oxide-related drugs, such as nitroglycerin, helped or harmed patients at risk of developing peptic ulcer.
Animal studies have shown that the drugs reduced the harm to the stomach induced by NSAIDs. But there was concern that nitric oxide might aggravate bleeding in humans because it inhibits platelet aggregation.
For the research, conducted at four Spanish hospitals, 1122 patients admitted to hospital with peptic bleeding were compared with 2231 other patients.
520 of the patients with bleeding had taken a NSAID drug in the week before admission and another 120 had taken low-dose aspirin. 60 had taken nitrovasodilators and 135 were on antisecretory therapy.
"The use of nitrovasodilator drugs is independently associated with a decreased risk of upper gastrointestinal bleeding."
Multivariate analysis showed that nitrovasodilators were associated with a decreased risk of bleeding - with an odds ratio of 0.6 - as was antisecretory therapy.
The researchers, led by Angel Lanas, of University Hospital, Zaragoza, write: "The use of nitrovasodilator drugs is independently associated with a decreased risk of upper gastrointestinal bleeding."
Report Copyright: Englemed Health News at http://www.internationalmedicalnews.com