Question

Ulcers

What headache drugs are safe for bleeding ulcers and peptic ulcer disease?

A Answers (1)

  • AHoward LeWine, MD, Internal Medicine, answered
    Before we address what you can take for pain and what you should avoid, first consider the two main causes of peptic ulcer disease.

    Peptic ulcer disease is most often caused by a bacterial infection called Helicobacter pylori. These bacteria sit below the surface of the stomach and first portion of the intestine. If you have not been tested for this infection, this should be your first step. Treating this infection with antibiotics and acid blockers will decrease your risk of bleeding ulcers in the future.

    The second most common cause of peptic ulcer disease is from the use of aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (called NSAIDs). Two NSAIDs available over the counter (meaning they don't require a prescription from a doctor) are:
    • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, generics)
    • Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, generics)
    Pain relievers that contain acetaminophen (Tylenol, generics) are the safest for you. Avoid headache medicine that contains aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. If you are uncertain about any particular product, ask the pharmacist before you buy it.

    Find out more about this book:

    Harvard Medical School The Sensitive Gut
    Buy book
Did You See?  Close
What is a penetrating ulcer?