People with arthritis are often prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs that are known to irritate the digestive tract. Consequently, they are also generally given a gastroprotective agent (GPA) drug to counteract the damaging effect of anti-inflammatory medication. According to a new study, adherence to GPAs is essential for patients with arthritis to prevent severe gastrointestinal complications. Researchers at Erasmus University Medical Centre claim that people that fail to take GPA medications, specifically if using COX-2 inhibitors to treat inflammation, are at an increased risk of upper gastrointestinal problems. The investigation, led by Dr Vera Valkhoff, analysed data from primary care registries in the UK, Netherlands and Italy between 1996 and 2008. Most using COX-2 blockers were also using GPAs for a period of less than 30 days and those who failed to adhere to the prescription had a higher incidence of upper gastrointestinal complications. Although anti-inflammatory drugs are vital to help people with arthritis remain as mobile as possible, their effects on the body can be severe. The study highlights the importance of achieving a balance in medication and following dosages to the letter. Find the nearest Barchester care home.