Analysis challenges link between pain medications and inflammatory bowel disease

Contrary to generally accepted belief, a recent review and analysis of published studies did not reveal a consistent association between the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or acetaminophen and exacerbation of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Nevertheless, when the analysis was limited to studies with a low risk of bias, three was a link between NSAIDs use and exacerbation of Crohn's disease but not ulcerative colitis.

The Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics analysis included 18 studies published between 1983 and 2016.

"We were surprised to see that there is little data in the literature to support our common recommendation to patients with inflammatory bowel disease to avoid all NSAIDs," said senior author Dr. Hamed Khalili, of Massachusetts General Hospital.


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