Common painkillers and might increase heart attack risk

Common painkillers and might increase heart attack risk


NSAIDs, widely used to treat pain and inflammation from long-term conditions, such as arthritis and other joint diseases, may raise one's odds for a heart attack.

Commonly used painkillers such as Motrin, Advil and Aleve (US brand names) might increase your risk for heart attack, even in the first week of use, a new study suggests. Overall, these drugs and others known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) increase the risk of a heart attack by 20 to 50%, compared with not using them, researchers found. The report was published in the journal BMJ.

For most people, however, this represents only a small increased risk – about 1% a year, the researchers said. The increased risk of heart attack associated with NSAIDs was seen at any dose taken for one week, one month or more than one month. And the risk rose with higher doses, the study found.

NSAIDs are widely used to treat pain and inflammation from long-term conditions, such as arthritis and other joint diseases.

Alternative options

To lower your odds for heart harm, consider all available treatment alternatives before deciding to treat occasional pain, fever or inflammation. The study did not address one very common, less-potent NSAID: low-dose aspirin. Numerous well-conducted trials have found a daily "baby aspirin" can help curb at-risk people's odds for a dangerous cardiac event.

This research includes previously published studies that included a total of nearly 447 000 participants. More than 61 400 people suffered heart attacks.

In this type of study, called a meta-analysis, researchers attempt to find common trends within diverse studies. painkillers