NSAID: Risk of GI ulceration, bleeding and perforation.
Serious GI toxicity such as bleeding, ulceration and perforation can occur at any time with or without symptoms, in patients treated with NSAID therapy. Although minor upper GI problems (e.g. dyspepsia) are common, usually developing early in therapy, prescribers should remain alert for ulceration and bleeding in patients treated with NSAIDs even in the absence of previous GI tract symptoms.
Studies to date have not identified any subset of patients not at risk of developing peptic ulceration and bleeding. Patients with prior history of serious adverse events and other risk factors associated with peptic ulcer disease (e.g. alcoholism, smoking, corticosteroid therapy) are at increased risk. Elderly or debilitated patients seem to tolerate ulceration or bleeding less than other individuals and account for most spontaneous reports for fatal GI events.