NSAIDs Increase Risk of Heart Attack
Prolonged use of some widely used painkillers increases the risk of heart attacks by a small but significant amount, a large international study led by Oxford Univ. researchers has found.
Prof. Colin Baigent of Oxford’s Clinical Trial Service Unit led the research on a class of painkillers called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). He says, “The research shows that, when used in high doses, diclofenac and ibuprofen increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, on average causing about three extra heart attacks a year in every 1,000 patients treated, one of which would be fatal. We would emphasize that the risks are mainly relevant to people with arthritis who need to take high doses over a long period. A short course of lower dose tablets purchased without a prescription, for example for a muscle sprain, is not likely to be hazardous.”
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