HomeLifestyleHealth & FitnessThis popular painkiller combo may increase risk of internal bleeding by 75%,...

This popular painkiller combo may increase risk of internal bleeding by 75%, says study

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Painkillers are commonly used to help with both minor and long-term discomfort. When used appropriately, the medication has a favorable safety profile.

However, when taken with other commonly prescribed drugs, painkillers have been shown to raise the risk of internal bleeding by 75%, according to a recent analysis.

The fact that pain relievers are so widely used attests to their high safety profile. Taken in small dosages, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are largely considered free of risk, given that your health is in good shape.

However, the drug’s safety has been questioned when used over long periods of time. NSAIDs may create difficulties when taken with SSRI antidepressants, according to a recent study, by raising the risk of intestinal hemorrhage.

NSAIDs are popular because they treat a wide range of conditions, including chronic arthritis, headaches, and fever.

The medicines, which include ibuprofen and aspirin, are available as tablets, capsules, creams, and gels. It is estimated that approximately 30 million people use NSAIDs on a daily basis, both over-the-counter and through prescription.

Taking NSAID pain relievers with SSRI antidepressants, however, could considerably raise the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, according to a 2021 study.

The findings, which came from ten research involving 6,000 people, were presented at the American College of Gastroenterology’s Annual Scientific Meeting & Postgraduate Course.

“When adding SSRIs to patients already on NSAIDs, the odds of developing an upper gastrointestinal bleed increased by 75 percent,” said Doctor Syed Alam, chief resident in internal medicine at Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha.

“The risk of upper gastrointestinal bleed by adding an SSRI to an NSAID needs to be discussed between the patient and physician.

“When possible, it is best to reduce or discontinue NSAIDS prior to starting an SSRI in order to minimise upper gastrointestinal bleed risk.”

Gastrointestinal bleeding can present itself in a variety of ways, but the most common symptom is a significant change in stool appearance.

The increased risk of bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal system, according to the review’s authors, is most likely the outcome of a drug interaction between the two.

Prostaglandins, which protect the gastrointestinal system, are known to be inhibited by NSAIDs.

SSRIs, on the other hand, stop platelets from forming in the blood, which is necessary for clotting.

Dr. Elena Ivanina, of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said that signs of bleeding are not always obvious.

The health expert said: “Some bleeding […] may be microscopic and not seen; therefore, symptoms of anaemia such as fatigue, shortness of breath on exertion or lightheadedness may signal blood loss as well.”

SSRIs increase stomach acidity, which causes peptic ulcers and raises the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, according to the Doctor.

Abdominal cramps, paleness, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, weakness, and weariness are all signs of gastrointestinal bleeding.

Patients should always talk to their doctors about their prescriptions first, since GPs may provide advice for individuals who may need to combine medications.

Image Credit: Getty

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