Multiple treatment guidelines for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) suggest that patients with one or more risk factors for NSAID-related ulcer complications should be prescribed preventive strategies such as acid-suppressive drugs, misoprostol or COX-2-specific inhibitors to reduce their risk of serious ulcer complications. However data are lacking as to how many patients have been on preventive measures in accordance to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) criteria in our population. We therefore evaluated the extent to which patients with acute gastrointestinal bleeding have been under ulcer-preventive strategies at the time of hospital entry. In a one-year-bleeding-study at the Waid city hospital, Zürich, ulcer preventive treatment was practiced in only 25% of 214 patients with acute gastrointestinal bleeding. We conclude that ulcer prevention in everyday medical practice is still being seldom applied.