Taking painkillers for just one week 'raises the risk of a heart attack': Strongest doses of five types of drug can increase chance by up to half
- Data from nearly 450,000 patients has linked 5 painkillers to heart problems
- Five forms are ibuprofen, celecoxib, diclofenac, naproxen, and rofecoxib
- People who take strong doses are most at risk, Canadian researchers found
Taking ibuprofen or other common painkillers for only a week increases the risk of a heart attack, research suggests.
Data from nearly 450,000 patients has linked five forms of painkillers – ibuprofen, celecoxib, diclofenac, naproxen, and rofecoxib – to heart problems.
People who take strong doses of the drugs – called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – are the most at risk, the Canadian researchers found. And the risk starts to rise after only a week of starting the painkillers.
In relative terms, the risk of a heart attack rose by between a fifth and a half compared to not taking any painkillers, the team calculated.
The researchers from the University of Montreal stressed that because most people have only a small risk of a heart attack to start with, the absolute risk of an attack directly contributed to taking NSAIDs is only about 1 per cent a year. But they said doctors should consider alternative painkillers.
Writing in the British Medical Journal, the researchers said: 'Given that the onset of risk of acute [heart attack] occurred in the first week and appeared greatest in the first month of treatment with higher doses, prescribers should consider weighing the risks and benefits of NSAIDs before instituting treatment, particularly for higher doses.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4490278/Taking-painkillers-raises-risk-heart-attack.html#ixzz4gfQzb9iG
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