Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rheumatoid Arthritis, Stomach Ulcer Spell Trouble

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rheumatoid Arthritis, Stomach Ulcer Spell Trouble

Article excerpt

Dear Dr. Donohue: I have had rheumatoid arthritis for more than 30 years and recently developed a stomach ulcer.

I am no longer able to take aspirin or NSAIDs; I am told to take Tylenol, but this is not satisfactory. I am concerned. I am a 59-year-old woman. Do you have any suggestions?

You are truly between a rock and a hard place. Aspirin and the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen and indomethacin make up a most popular group of arthritis-control drugs.

Unfortunately, your stomach ulcer makes such drugs off-limits. Tylenol does not cause the bleeding, and it is too bad it doesn't work for you.

There are other medicines to try, even with the ulcer, such as Arthropan (choline salicylate) or Trilisate (choline magnesium salicylate).

Or, you can try enteric-coated aspirin. The coating permits release farther down the digestive tract, below the stomach.

And your doctor has further choices, including gold, penicillamine or methotrexate. So all is not lost.

You also can ask your doctor about Cytotec - misoprostol - a drug designed to protect the stomach lining from corrosive effects of aspirin and NSAIDs.

No one can guarantee that substitutes won't cause an ulcer flare in an individual case, but there is enough of a track record to warrant trial. And, as is sometimes the case, you might have to weigh the side-effect risk against the pain of nontreatment.

For more on ulcers, read the report I'm sending you. Others can order a copy by writing: Dr. Donohue - No. 25, Box 5539, Riverton, N.J. 08077-5539. Enclose $3 and a self-addressed, stamped (55 cents) No. 10 envelope.

*****

Dear Dr. Donohue: I saw your reply to the woman whose daughter has Raynaud's disease. I am 32 and now living in Florida. When I lived up in New Jersey, I suffered from Raynaud's in my fingers and toes, which turned cold. …

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