It is known that painkillers (NSAIDs) can increase risk of heart attack. A new study shows that the increased risk begins within one week of its consumption. NSAIDs include ibuprofen, sold under brand names like Advil or Motrin; naproxen, like Aleve; as well as prescription arthritis drugs known as COX-2 inhibitors, such as Celebrex.
Authors from McGill University pooled all the studies they could find on NSAIDs and heart attacks. They evaluated data on 446,000 people using NSAIDs, including 385,000 who did not have heart attacks, known medically as myocardial infarctions.
By studying 61,460 myocardial infarction events in real-world use of NSAIDs, they found that current use of NSAIDs is associated with a significantly increased risk of acute myocardial infarction. Risk was greatest during the first month of NSAID use and with higher doses. This is particularly bad news for people with chronic pain issues requiring regular medications. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has already added a ‘black box’ warning to NSAIDs warning people with heart disease or high blood pressure to avoid using them without checking with a doctor first.
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