Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs and dyspepsia in general practice – a prospective, controlled study

  • Marija Skok
  • Pavel Skok
Keywords: dyspepsia, elderly, family practice, diagnostic procedures, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs


Background: Treatment of dyspeptic patients is a diagnostic and therapeutic problem frequently encountered by general and family practitioners, by internists and gastroenterologists.

Aims: In our study we attempted to assess the prevalence of dyspeptic symptoms in patients over 60 who are regular users of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs.

Patients and methods: This is a prospective cohort study based on an interview during examination in the OPC, the results obtained by the diagnostic procedures and follow-up. It was carried out between 1999 and 2003 at a family practitioner’s and a gastroenterologic OPC. In patients who were regular users of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, we established the prevalence of dyspeptic symptoms, the most often used drugs and the type of diagnostic procedure applied to define the cause of dyspepsia. The control group was composed of patients over 60 who were also exhibiting dyspeptic symptoms but not using any NSAID.

Results: The study comprised 50 patients, 27 women and 23 men, the mean age was 67.3 years, the range 60–80 years. The control group comprised 50 patients, 28 women and 22 men, the mean age was 66.6 years, the range 61–80 years. All patients of the study group had used NSAR or preparations of acetylsalicylic acid during the past 3 months. There were no statistically significant differences between the patients of both groups as regards the number and use of other drugs, p = 0.65. The average score of dyspeptic complaints in our study group was 3.02, SD ± 0.6, and 70% of patients wished to use H2 antagonists or proton pump inhibitors for these complaints. In patients of the control group, the average score of complaints was 2.72, SD ± 0.7, and they also took drugs for the alleviation of their complaints more rarely.

Conclusions: Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs belong among the important causes of dyspepsia in the elderly. When making decisions about the various diagnostic procedures for defining the etiology of dyspepsia, we must be guided by a good knowledge of the symptoms as well as of our patients.


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How to Cite
Skok M, Skok P. Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs and dyspepsia in general practice – a prospective, controlled study. ZdravVestn [Internet]. 1 [cited 19Oct.2019];74(1). Available from:
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