How can I prevent ulcers?

  • If you smoke, quit. People who smoke are twice as likely to develop ulcers. Ulcers also heal more slowly in people who smoke.
  • Don’t drink too much alcohol.
  • If you have symptoms of an ulcer, contact your doctor.
  • Don't overuse NSAIDs.

Am I at a greater risk for an ulcer if I take NSAIDs regularly?

The risk of an ulcer is related to the dose of the NSAID (meaning the more you take, the greater the risk). The risk increases with:

  • Age (more likely over age 60)
  • Gender (occurs more often in women than men)
  • Use of corticosteroids (such as those taken for asthma or lupus) and NSAIDs together
  • The length of time you have been taking NSAIDs
  • A history of ulcer disease

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/13/2016.


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