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The World in Medicine
September 17, 2003

Say NO to Aspirin

JAMA. 2003;290(11):1443. doi:10.1001/jama.290.11.1443-a

Researchers from Italy, Canada, and France have found that a form of aspirin that releases nitric oxide (NO) may allow patients to experience aspirin's benefits while being spared possible gastric damage. The study's findings were published in September 1 in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (http://www.pnas.org).

Aspirin's ability to reduce the risk of heart attack and ischemic stroke has boosted its use in recent years, but its propensity to damage the stomach lining is a drawback. Of particular concern is the possibility that patients taking low-dose aspirin who are also taking a cyclooxygenase-2 (COX)-2 inhibitor for arthritis would have an increased risk of gastric injury.