By jayabee52 Latest Activity April 21, 2011 at 11:53 pm Views 7,695 Replies 39 Likes 15


Since arthritis sufferers can use a lot of Non Steroidal Anti Inflammitory Drugs (NSAIDs) I thought I'd pass on this discussion topic I had posted in BackPainConnect, another group which uses a lot of pain meds:

I don't mean to frighten anyone, but I want to make you aware of a potential problem with NSAIDS. I will tell you what happened to me in Nov 2010 and a very good friend during the same week.

The Sunday before Thanksgiving 2010, I was vomiting "coffee grounds" vomitus. Very black! Having been trained as a CNA I knew that was not a good thing (but couldn't remember why). I (foolishly) drove myself to the ER. Fortunately at that time they weren't very busy. I was taken back to a room and given some blood tests. I was low on blood (why I was foolish to drive myself - could have blacked out). I was transfused with a total of 6 U of whole blood. I was placed in ICU and was scheduled for an upper GI "scope" for the next day. As it turned out I had a bleeding ulcer which was causing the coffee grounds emesis, and then later the black tarry stools appeared.

I had been taking a med called Aggrenox which had aspirin in it to thin my blood. That was discontinued.

While I was in the hospital I got a call on my cell, from the daughter of a close friend. Her mom had just died because her stomach perforated and went into her pancreatic artery (according to daughter). They couldn't stop the bleeding and she bled out after having 2 full transfusions of blood.

When I was out of the hospital, I researched bleeding ulcers and one of the meds. my friend Suzie had been taking —- Trammedol —- for pain in her spine was implicated in causing perforations of the stomach. She had been complaining of pain in her belly in Oct. but we had no idea this was going on inside her.

On Diabetic Connect today I "spoke" with someone had been taking a med —- voltaren —- to fight pain from neuropathy. Researching it, I noted it too was implicated in causing GI perforations.

Perhaps you will not be affected by NSAIDS, and I pray that you will not.
But I want you to be aware that they can cause bleeding ulcers, and what to look for if you happen to be someone who have problems with NSAIDs

My friend Suzie had been taking Trammedol for sevral years without ill effects. I had been on Aggrenox for about 9 mos to 1 yr before I had my problem.

It has now been since Nov 2010 since I've DC'd Aggrenox and I have not had a recurrance of the bleeding ulcer. So far, so good

Please, if you're taking a NSAID, be aware that it may happen to you, even if you've tolerated them well in the past.

Blessings to you and yours!

James Baker

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Replies (39 replies)

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  • acebass
    acebass September 5, 2013 at 10:36 pm   

    Hi, James,

    I got bleeding gastritis from Celebrex. Did some research and found Arthrotec, a combination of Voltaren, an NSAID, and misoprostol, a hormonal combination, which settles your stomach. It's an NSAID for people who can't take NSAIDS. It's not on the list of NSAIDS, and might benefit folks with reservations about NSAIDS and GI issues. Worked like a charm for me.
    The last few months, I've had to add a Fentanyl (a powerful opiate) patch, since my lower back osteo turned into Stage 3 Multiple Myeloma (terminal cancer). Several vertebrae collapsed, and the pain was unbearable. The patch got rid of 100% of the pain, and has no side effects.

    I'd recommend that you folks check these powerful meds.

    Your Pal,

    Ace of Baseness

  • jayabee52
    jayabee52 September 5, 2013 at 11:01 pm   

    Thanks Rob, for your note on my profile and for coming here to share the same info with all of us. I pray it is useful for many!


  • marieanne
    marieanne July 10, 2011 at 1:26 am   

    This is vital info., thanks so for posting this. It gives us all a heads up
    on what to be careful of. It's quite scary to navigate through all of
    these medication issues when there are so many. I am glad they caught
    yours in time. I am very sorry about your friend Suzie. I just found your
    discussion & glad I did bc I am at a crossroads with my treatment of
    pain relief which has become very severe so I will not consider any of these.
    God Bless U & hugs, marieanne

  • 1cookie :)
    1cookie :) July 4, 2011 at 1:09 am   

    As always, great information…sorry about the loss of a freind and the trouble you went through. You may well have saved someone from going trough the same thing…

  • jayabee52
    jayabee52 July 3, 2011 at 11:52 pm   

    I was just reading about a topical ointment yesterday to be prescribed for Osteoarthritis. I was surprised to read that even a TOPICAL ointment containing a NSAID could cause bleeding ulcers. I thought that it was only Oral meds I had to worry about. WOWSERS!

    Needing to be extra careful!

  • Cowgirl2aTEE
    Cowgirl2aTEE July 4, 2011 at 12:43 pm   

    I, too developed a bleeding ulcer-didn't have vomiting, but had the black tarry stools and yesterday i took sudafed sinus and had stomach pain that felt exactly like it did when my ulcer bleeds-still have ulcer tho it only bleeds when it is aggravated normally by NSAIDS-I tool Tramadol constantly for pain in spine but never had any sign of ulcerative problems-so glad you told us about this. Thanks a lot and have a great 4th!

  • 1cookie :)
    1cookie :) July 4, 2011 at 12:59 am   
    Edited July 4, 2011 at 1:05 am by 1cookie :)

    The topical medication Pennsaid, do you know anything about that one??? I was given both (voltaren) but I don't have an MSDS sheet on them…

  • jayabee52
    jayabee52 July 4, 2011 at 12:32 pm   

    The advertisement I was reading about was for Voltaren. They had the insert paper that comes with the prescription with it. I know nothing more about Voltaren and absolutely zero about Pennsaid. Have you looked them up on Drugs.com or other site?

  • 1cookie :)
    1cookie :) July 4, 2011 at 12:34 pm   

    no..but I will try it..I'm not that good with that sort of thing…thanks.!!!

  • jayabee52
  • morningsunshine
    morningsunshine June 10, 2011 at 7:43 pm   

    I like this article. It's true about NSAIDS can cause these problems. A person has to rule out the advantages against the disadvantages. I go on and off of Voltaren and am happy with it when I need it. If I use it for 2-3 months I always request a liver (blood test) just to be cautious. This was a refreshing article to bring up! We need to be extra careful !!! Thank-You!!!

  • 1cookie :)
    1cookie :) July 4, 2011 at 1:16 am   

    Thank you for this information..I was given this medicartion as a sample and have used it sparingly…

  • Lin Bigknife
    Lin Bigknife May 4, 2011 at 12:55 pm   

    I have found that one of the major problems with NSAIDS is that patients think if it doesnt' cause them pain to take the med without food, then it is unnecesary to use only with food despite the warnings. Ulcers don't appear overnight, they develop slowly and taking NSAIDs without food/milk is just begging for bleeding ulcers! So everyone also beware that the directions are essential with these drugs.

    I was started on Naprosyn for Fibromyalgia 20 years ago and told that with careful use of it, I should be able to take for 15 years before ulcers developed. Well 15 years later I had forgotten about that until a stabbing pain in my stomach doubled me over and I was diagnosed with ulcers! I HAD used food when taking it and was thus lucky to get the predicted 15 years of use from the drug. Since then my ulcers have healed and I am on Mobic, but also always taking with food and after only 2 years, I developed an ulcer again. So I am healing and will move to something different then. Have bad reaction to Celebrex so that is out.

    We ALL have to weigh the pros and cons of each treatment option and of each day's pain level. Yes, I understand what will happen when we are 80 but I agree we have to survive today to get there.

    Thanks for sharing your experience and alerting others to the signs for which to watch. You have provided a valuable personal experience. Bless you, Lin R.

  • jayabee52
    jayabee52 May 4, 2011 at 6:25 pm   

    And thank YOU, Lin for sharing your experience too!

    I have never used anything like a NSAID regularly for pain. And I think I was not informed that I needed to take the Aggrenox (containing asprin) with food. And I had no stomach pain whatever with the bleeding ulcer. The only symptom was the "coffee grounds" emesis and the "black tarry" stools.

    My friend SuzAnnie did complain of stomach pains about a month or so before she bled out due to her bleeding ulcer. She had been taking Tramedol for pain.

    Praying blessings on you and yours Lin R!


  • Gramma K
    Gramma K May 3, 2011 at 11:15 am   

    A NSAID can sometimes help but there is the old nagging voice that says, "Be careful woman!". So I try to take them infrequently and when I do I eat some food or drink some milk at the same time. Sometimes though, I just take the bottle out of the Med Cabinet and LOOK at it and ask myself, "Am I able to get through just one hour without this?" Usually I can make it but my hubby says they work better when I take them. He could be right but I hate to admit it sometimes. I think, "Garsh darn it! I can get by because what will I take when pain REALLY gets bad?" Really bad for me is pass out. Now that is really stupid of my and I'm not a stupid person. My words just go to support the facts that chronic pain can get one into stinking thinking.

  • jayabee52
    jayabee52 May 3, 2011 at 1:07 pm   

    My thinking about taking pain relievers was summed up by you words: "what will I take when pain REALLY gets bad?" So I usually avoided them.

    But what got me into trouble with a bleeding ulcer Nov 2010 was aspirin was included in a blood-thinning med, Aggrenox. That ate a hole in my duodenum, and I eventually needed to be transfused with 6 U of whole blood. Had I not noticed the symptoms or ignored them I may well be "pushing up daisies" rather than replying to discussion replies.

    Praying the "grim reaper" has to chase me for a while yet!


  • Gramma K
    Gramma K May 3, 2011 at 1:41 pm   

    Jaybee: I praise God that you were given a new lease on life and that you are o.k. Blood thinner AND NSSAID!?! Goodness gracious…how did that get prescribed? I'm fortunate because my various doctors as well as my pharmacist keep me on my toes to watch for things like you experienced. Thanks for your insight and sharing it!

  • jayabee52
    jayabee52 May 3, 2011 at 6:30 pm   

    Aggrenox is a newer drug. I have had a history of mini strokes ("TIAs") previously in 2005. Then in 2009 it was discovered I had at least 1 other TIA when they were did a MRI looking for something else (thyroid problem). PCP decided to put me on Aggrenox to minimize the chances of another TIA. I think I was on Aggrenox for about 1.5 yrs before I started the bleeding ulcer.

  • Ameena2011
    Ameena2011 May 2, 2011 at 7:03 am   

    Thankyou for that info jayabee52,
    It is always good to learn stuff from each other; it is helpful. What is (ISAID)?

  • jayabee52
    jayabee52 May 3, 2011 at 2:40 am   

    A "NSAID" is a "Non Steroidal Anti Inflammitory Drug) It is a drug which is not a steroid which fights inflammation, and often is used to try to control fevers. These are commonly known, but not limited to drugs like Asprin and Ibuprophen

  • zorabelle
    zorabelle May 2, 2011 at 4:00 am   

    I also had a serious effect from NSAIDS..I had been taking Celebrex,and Ibuprofen along with Volteran gel which I use on my hips.They could have told me not to take them together! or not prescribe them all, you would think..It literally blew a hole in my colon and I bled rectally which sent me to the emergency room and spent 10 days in the hospital where several anti-biotic IV's were used,various tests,x-rays,etc.It was a horrible experience!
    The doctors had taken me off of all NSAIDS and now I am taking Opana ER which was prescribed 2x daily but I tend to just use them before I go to sleep when the pain is most intense and can usually make one prescription last for 2 months..I suffer from Spina Bifida with Intrasacral Meningocele which has no cure and all I can do is manage the pain..I thank God I am able to function as a normal adult and still can get around and do things for myself.But now since that nightmare,I am more aware of how important it is to read the side-effects in the brochures and go online and do some research on what I am taking.It is up to you to know just what it is that you are putting in your body…

  • Misty91
    Misty91 April 26, 2011 at 6:07 pm   

    I too am allergic. I do not feel this high they talk about with the prescriptions I have tried. My grama and I were both on vicadin for several years and we used to watch shows on addiction, we would look at each other and laugh. We always wondered when we were going to get that not caring feeling as they called it and we would often joke about it.

    UNFORGIVEN April 26, 2011 at 1:35 pm   
    Edited April 26, 2011 at 1:39 pm by UNFORGIVEN

    I am allercic to nsaids, was hospitalised twice from them. I know everone is down on opiates but I am currently taking OPANA Er and I get no high from this , so it doesn't interfear in my daily routines.But takes care of my pain so it is most managable ! I also don't consider myself addicted I am dependent ,on managing my pain !

  • purplemoon0130
    purplemoon0130 April 28, 2011 at 6:45 pm   

    Hello UNFORGIVEN. Hope you're doing ok with your pain today. I have suffered pratically all my life with pain issues, beginning with scoliosis in my teens and daily headaches. I'm in my 50s now and am still suffering! They FINALLY diagnosed me correctly having Fibromyalgia. I also have severe TMJ with arthritis in one of the joints. I don't have any cartlage left in that joint. It makes horrible crunching noises when I move my jaw. The other joint pops all the time. My teeth have migrated with this condition, also. Not good!!! Causes constant pain and it makes my jaw muscles want to tense up because of the pain. My doctor won't give me any pain meds only because I chose to go to Detox because of the benzodiazapines (Xanax, then Ativan) that she had put me on and got dependant, addicted, then they no longer worked for my anxiety/panic disorder! What a nightmare that was!! So now I'm marked down as an "addict". So unfair to be judged in that way. Makes me feel like I was a street drug addict. Makes me angry, too. So unfair!

  • kittenpurr1
    kittenpurr1 April 30, 2011 at 10:43 am   
    Edited April 30, 2011 at 10:47 am by kittenpurr1

    You should have been weaned off slowly. People don't realize what they do when they go to detox, or try to committ suicide- they create their own hell, here on Earth, my friend is labeled for the rest of her life because she tried to commit suicide, but she can get pain medictions and nerve medications from the professionals. She just has to be watched a little closer. If anyone has reasons for these actions, she does, she has been through so much in her life, no one should have ever had to do the things her parents made her do. But she can get help when she needs it. Right now she is in a low. But she will get by, with help from a few good friends. It iis never good to be Red Flagged. People get into accidents. There are situations, where people may need pain medication. It's awful to be allergic to all of it too.
    NSAIDS can really mess up the insides. For every action, there is a reaction. Good or bad.

    ZOWLUCY April 22, 2011 at 6:27 pm   

    I cannot take NSAIDS anymore dr has forbidden me to have I have gerd and I was using them but I was also taking nexium twice a day also Finally when the heart burn and nuclear stomach doc so no

  • purplemoon0130
    purplemoon0130 April 22, 2011 at 3:36 pm   

    I'm concerned with this being a future problem, too. I take too many NSAIDs a day for pain issues and fibromyalgia. You have to weigh the benefits and the side effects carefully. So far the only problem I've had is bruising very easily and when they draw blood for tests, the tubes fill up really fast! Then it takes forever for the injection site to stop bleeding. With that being, if I develop any internal bleeding, I'm doomed. But, taking the meds is the only way I can cope with regular daily life. What a mess. Every time I turn around there's something else wrong with me. I'm falling apart like an old car does…lol. I'm 51, but I hate to see what I'll be like at 60!!! Probably bed-ridden. ugh…


  • Misty91
    Misty91 April 26, 2011 at 6:12 pm   

    I still ask that question. If I feel like this at 38 and they say my spine is like an 80 year olds what am I gonna be like when I reach the age that I am suppose to feel the way I do now. I have been told I would be in a wheelchair at age 21, 25, 28, 35, and now they have given up guessing. I keep proving them wrong because I won't accept what they say and I refuse to give up living. I do take it easy and I have at least 6 hours I lie flat on my back, but I do not always listen to my doctors. I figure I am going to enjoy life while I can

  • purplemoon0130
    purplemoon0130 April 28, 2011 at 6:25 pm   

    Misty, you must keep that determination attitude! The mind is a powerful tool to being better! Do what you can, when you can. I truly respect your attitude. U go Girlfriend!!! lol

  • jayabee52
    jayabee52 April 22, 2011 at 4:14 pm   

    Howdy Rona. My concern is that you are made aware of the problem which may develop and look for the symptoms of bleeding ulcer so that you may get medical attention quickly and stop your bleeding.


  • Crazy Jane
    Crazy Jane June 10, 2011 at 5:56 pm   

    I appreciate being made aware! I onlly take celebrex when the pain gets out of hand. I used to take Vioxx. They took that one off the shelf! And that's the one that worked the best for me!!

  • purplemoon0130
    purplemoon0130 April 28, 2011 at 6:29 pm   

    Hey James, I also am trained as a CNA and I have a huge interest in medicines, health issues, clinical trials, and psychology since there's a lot of mental health problems in my family. I know the risks of many of the meds I'm on, but sometimes the benefits of the meds outweigh the risks of side effects. Something as simple and old as plain old aspirin can kill you, but can also save your life. Are we really damned if we do and damned if we don't? hmmm Excuse my french, please.

  • jayabee52
    jayabee52 April 29, 2011 at 4:39 am   

    I don't speak French so ir's OK! LoL!

  • Dennie Linde
    Dennie Linde April 22, 2011 at 12:20 am   

    Thank you for the article. I have been taking Tramadol for over a year now. Is that the same as Trammedol? I was taking Ibuprofen for pain in my spine and the dr. told me to stop because I'd blow out a kidney. To take the tramadol instead. I'm in my late fifties and have had ulcers since my twenties. Seems like every drug a person takes only causes more problems.

  • jayabee52
    jayabee52 April 22, 2011 at 4:18 pm   

    You seem to be right about problems with drugs.

    I believe I may have misspelled the name of the drug.. In subsequent exchanges on the back pain site I learned the only common pain reliever that isn't supposed to do this is Acetiminephen (sp?)

  • snowybarb
    snowybarb April 25, 2011 at 8:47 am   

    I have been taking Celebex 200 mg. twice a day for many years now, I do watch for those signs as I had a stomach bleed from Ibuprohen. When the big scare happened and Celebrex was not removed from the market, I was switched to another drug which was useless for me. I told my doctore I did not care if I die early - I need to be able to live life today.
    So for me the riisk is worth it so far I have no problems - does not mean iot will not happen in the future.
    For me the benfits are well woth it.

  • jayabee52
    jayabee52 April 25, 2011 at 11:42 pm   

    well you are informed about the risks and the benefits, and for you the benefits out weigh the risks. Good for you.

    I'm not telling folks not to use these at all, just be aware of the symptoms of a GI bleed.

  • kittenpurr1
    kittenpurr1 April 22, 2011 at 9:08 am   

    How true! Drug reps are making a killing!

  • Paul FL
    Paul FL April 29, 2011 at 8:48 am   

    Yes, the drug companys and reps are making a killing, but we are also living in less pain for longer periods of time. If we can this conditons 15-20 years agao we would not be living anything close to normal lives. Yes we live in pain and have other limiting factors but most can still work to some level. We all use computers and again most can walk. To quote one of my old DRs, Better living through better pharacuticals.

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