Medicines update

Experts warn against codeine/NSAID combos

An increasing number of patients are presenting with serious gastrointestinal problems due to abuse of OTC drugs combining codeine and a NSAID, say Australian surgeons.

The drugs are abused for their opioid effects but it is the NSAID in the combination that can cause non-healing gastric ulcers and other complications of the upper gastrointestinal tract, surgeons from Adelaide’s Flinders Medical Centre noted in a letter to the ANZ Journal of Surgery