How Ibuprofen May Affect Your Heart

advilHow Ibuprofen May Affect Your Heart

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Ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs might be more dangerous than most people think, according to a new study that links these over-the-counter painkillers to heart problems.

Though drugs containing ibuprofen such as Advil are widely sold without a prescription in gas stations and grocery stores around the world — giving consumers the impression that they’re relatively safe — researchers at Copenhagen University Hospital determined that these drugs raise the risk of cardiac arrest by about 31 percent on average.

The researchers are calling for stricter regulation of NSAIDs, such as requiring a prescription to obtain these products, in order to ensure that patients are better informed about the health risks. The risk is greatest for individuals suffering from heart conditions like cardiovascular disease, they found.

woman-with-iv-in-armStocksy/Margaret Vincent – stocksy.com

“Allowing these drugs to be purchased without a prescription, and without any advice or restrictions, sends a message to the public that they must be safe,” Gunnar Gislason, a professor of cardiology who co-authored the study, said in a press release. “The findings are a stark reminder that NSAIDs are not harmless.”

Though past studies have arrived at similar conclusions about the cardiac risks of ibuprofen, this new research only looked at NSAID use among patients who were prescribed the drug. The ingredients are the same, but as one UK trade group representing over-the-counter drug makers told The Guardian, “[p]rescribed NSAIDs would normally contain a higher dosage than those medicines available over-the-counter and would typically be used for longer durations.”

For the study, which was published in the European Heart Journal on Wednesday, researchers looked at about 29,000 patients in Denmark who experienced heart attacks from 2001 and 2010. About 3,300 of those patients had taken an NSAID in the 30 days before the cardiac event, and the study compared that finding to each patient’s medical records from the preceding 30 days to evaluate the risk. Here’s what they found, according to the press release:

“Use of any NSAID was associated with a 31 percent increased risk of cardiac arrest. Diclofenac and ibuprofen were associated with a 50 percent and 31 percent increased risk, respectively. Naproxen, celecoxib and rofecoxib were not associated with the occurrence of cardiac arrest, probably due to a low number of events.”

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NSAIDs appear to raise the risk of cardiac arrest by causing platelets to build up, which can lead to blood clots. The study also indicated that these drugs make arteries constrict and increase blood pressure.

To avoid adverse cardiac effects of NSAID use, the researchers recommend taking no more than 1,200 milligrams of ibuprofen per day, and to limit use in general.

One Response

  1. So for the past 3 months I have had a pleurisy flare comes and goes very severe went to the er several times and nothing was done for me, no steroids no pain relievers NADA. Last Monday the pain changed it was in my chest I could hardly breathe without screaming then crying. For 2 hours I juggled with my limited options. I called my doctor who said to hang up and call 911. I wouldn’t do it because I see what they do to people who come in on ambulances then walked to the waiting room. I was given an appointment went in my vitals were done I asked about them she said that they were weird and was gonna show the doctor she came back with an EKG machine. My ecg was abnormal it said I was having a septal infarction wth a rapid sinus rhythm. I was immediately given nitro followed by baby aspirin and even tho I told therm not to call paramedics they still did. Protocol. Well I had my car and my cousin and wasn’t about to get stranded. So I refused their ride. My doctor called the hospital to expect me and I had paperwork to hand over to the er. When i got there to check in no one said anything about being called and they wouldn’t take my ekg printout either. Of course they gave me another ekg which I’m assuming turned out ok after all the clinic gave me nitro.i was left in waiting for over 4 hours when I wen’t to front desk to talk to this guy ill call a- hole. Throughout my wait a hole kept letting me know what number I was apparently I was getting pushed back for other more serious conditions. I asked how many ahead now he said only but that could change at any moment if someone else comes in. I said I wanted my iv out I was leaving. I asked the gal next to him since when did heart attacks become non emergencies. A hole chimed in and said that they are still considered serious then I said why have you been pushing me back and making me wait in the lobby. The gal was very apologetic a hole told me to go to the room to get my iv out next to the bathroom I went potty and was washing my hands when I heard my name being called repeatedly. Suddenly I’m taken to a room covered in warm blankets and doze off I wakeup to this guy talking so close to me I can smell his breath. He’s in mid sentence talking about opioids. I ask why he was talking about them he said he was just letting me know why I couldn’t have any, he was afraid I’d become addicted and I was being discharged with a rx of 500mg Tylenol. My cousin was with me and watched me as they left then I stood took off the iv tape and pulled out the iv and threw it in the floor grabbed my purse while my cousin is loudly saying I needed to calm down before they put me in the psych ward next to the room I was in. I told him if he kept running his mouth I probably would. I’m walking out the room towards the exit and I’m stopped by the nurses who wants me to wait for discharge paperwork. I said y’all have my address on file, mail it. My cousin catches up to me in the parking lot and proceeds to tell me that the doctor told him that my condition was caused from mental illness. Then he was talking to me like he believed it. I never gave permission to have the doctor discuss my medcal issues with anyone, and the doctor never said a word to me about my pain was a manifestation of mental illness. I had labs drawn while I was there and either the doctor thought I was incredibly stupid or he was but I was going over it and my numbers for leukocytes and such are way off and suggest that I have an auto immune disorder or even cancer and even suggested I had an infarct, and my glucose was very high. The doctor said nothing to me me about those results either. He said I had costochondritis, which I seriously doubted because I can’t hardly open a Ziploc bag I’m so weak. I am incensed. I am waiting to be contacted by their complaint department, but I have had enough of complaining. That doctor violated my HIPAA. This medical community is killing me by continually denying me care. I want a lawyer. Suggestions please?

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