Common pain medication increases heart attack risk after only one week of use

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

pain-medication-linked-to-heart-attack(NaturalHealth365)  In a stunning revelation, a recent study has shown that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including both nonselective NSAIDs and selective COX-2 inhibitors, pose an underestimated cardiovascular risk.  Due to their potential to inhibit prostacyclin – a naturally occurring molecule in the body that plays a key role in regulating blood vessel dilation – these drugs promote platelet aggregation.

In another study, all five NSAIDs studied were found to increase heart attack risk significantly within the first week of use, said researchers.  The individual drugs assessed included ibuprofen, diclofenac, naproxen, rofecoxib, and celecoxib.

Commonly used pain medication increases the risk of a heart attack by over 100 percent

For the study, researchers assessed 446,763 persons from healthcare databases in Canada, the UK, and Finland, 61,460 of whom had had a heart attack.  It quickly became clear that heart attack risk associated with NSAID usage was highest during the first month in people who took the highest doses of the drugs.

The potential increase in risk for heart attack in those taking rofecoxib was over 100 percent.  Both ibuprofen and naproxen were found to bring an increased heart attack risk of about 75 percent.

The overall odds of suffering a heart attack were up to 50 percent higher when using NSAIDs as compared with not using the drugs, with variances among the individual drugs tested.  The study results were published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Higher doses of NSAID pain medication further increase heart attack risk

Because the risk of heart attack seems to come on so quickly after starting NSAIDs, the researchers recommend that healthcare professionals carefully consider both the benefits and risks of these drugs before recommending them.

SHOCKING PROBIOTICS UPDATE: Discover the True Value of Probiotics and How to Dramatically Improve Your Physical, Mental and Emotional Wellbeing with ONE Easy Lifestyle Habit.

This is especially relevant when higher doses are prescribed.  While those who experienced heart attack related to NSAID use tended to be at higher risk for heart attack in the first place, the study results should give all NSAID users a pause.

NSAIDs have been studied for their possible link to myocardial infarction before; however, only a more recent study measured dose, timing, treatment duration, and comparative risks among different NSAID types.

Seek natural alternatives to NSAID pain medication whenever possible

When considering pain management, it’s important to seek natural alternatives to NSAID medication whenever possible.  While the long-term effects of NSAID use were not fully assessed in this study, it concludes that NSAIDs should only be used in moderation and for as short a term as possible.  Ideally, natural pain relief solutions should be explored.

Some holistic alternatives to NSAIDs include capsaicin, the active element in chili peppers, which can help alleviate pain.  Boswellia, also known as Indian frankincense and South African devil’s claw, are herbs that have been traditionally used to reduce inflammation and pain.  Similarly, South American cat’s claw and curcumin, found in turmeric, have anti-inflammatory properties and can offer relief from pain.

Regular use of omega-3 fatty acids, such as through a daily fish oil supplement, can also help manage inflammation and pain.  White willow bark, which contains salicin, the predecessor of aspirin, has been used for centuries to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.  Plus, another effective (herbal) remedy is arnica. (a popular brand is called: T-Relief)

In some cases, medical marijuana may be considered as an alternative, particularly if it’s legal in your state and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.  As with any natural remedy, it’s important to consult a holistic doctor before using any of these supplements or alternatives to pain medication.

Sources for this article include:

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments