Bacterial infections and NSAIDs exposure? Seek septic complications

Published:March 13, 2017DOI:


      Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are widely consumed. Some authors suggested a relationship between more severe infections and NSAIDs exposure, especially skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI). However, their impact during bacterial infections remains unclear. The aim of the study was to report the severity features of patients having bacterial infection who were exposed to NSAIDs prior to their hospitalisation. Cases of infected patients with these characteristics declared to the pharmacovigilance department of a French university hospital from 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2013 were retrospectively reviewed.
      Forty-one patients were included, mainly male (61%). Median age was 37 years. No underlying disease was noted for 68% of cases. Ibuprofen was the most frequent drug (63%). Self-medication concerned 61% of cases. Respiratory tract, osteoarticular and SSTI were the most frequent infected sites. Patients suffered septic complications: dissemination of infection to more than one site (51%), suppuration (59%), and requirement for invasive procedures (32%). Eleven patients (27%) had severity criteria as usually defined (10 severe sepsis and 1 septic shock) and 30 did not. There was no significant difference regarding the rate of septic complications between the severe and non-severe group.
      Septic complications frequently occurred in patients with NSAIDs exposure, whether or not there was severe sepsis or shock. Further studies investigating the impact of NSAIDs in bacterial infections should consider the septic complications depicted here as clinically relevant endpoints. Moreover, clinicians should seek those complications in case of bacterial infections and NSAIDs use.


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