Recent advances in endoscopic techniques such as capsule endoscopy have revealed that aspirin and other nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) often cause mucosal lesions not only in the upper gastrointestinal tract, but also in the small intestine in humans. Gastric and duodenal
lesions caused by NSAIDs can be treated with anti-secretory agents such as proton pump inhibitors or histamine H2-receptor antagonists; however, these drugs are ineffective in treating NSAID-induced lesions in the small intestine. Furthermore, there are few effective agents for the treatment
of small intestinal lesions. Therefore, identification of effective therapies for the treatment of NSAID/aspirin-induced small intestinal lesions remains an urgent priority. In the present review, we focus on novel pharmacological treatments to prevent or reduce NSAID-induced intestinal lesions,
i.e., 1) GI-sparing NSAIDs (NO- or H2S-NSAIDs, NSAIDs mixed with phosphatidylcholine); 2) anti-ulcer drugs such as mucosal protective agents (misoprostol, rebamipide, teprenone, etc.) and anti-secretory agents (lansoprazole, etc.); 3) antibiotics (metronidazole) and probiotics (Lactobacillus
sp.); and 4) food constituents (lactoferrin and soluble dietary fibers). We surveyed data from clinical trials evaluating these novel treatments. Also reviewed herein were the pros and cons of the novel protective methods from the standpoint of safety, efficacy, convenience, and cost.
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