To Your Health
July, 2014 (Vol. 08, Issue 07)
Over-the-Counter Heart Dangers You Should Know
Most people pop aspirin and other over-the-counter pain relievers without a second thought. But mounting evidence suggests that there should be cause for concern.
In a recent study, researchers found that "NSAID (aspirin, ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, etc.) use was associated with an increased risk of death or myocardial infarction (heart attack) by up to 5 times that of non-users, according to the Nordic Association for the Publication of BCPT.
There was also a clear indication for a dose-related response in risk associated with NSAID therapy, supporting a causal association.
Notably, the cardiovascular risk associated with NSAID treatment was prevalent at start of treatment, suggesting no safe treatment window for NSAIDs in patients with cardiovascular disease. Thus, evidence from observational studies is accumulating, suggesting that "NSAIDs are a major public health concern due to the widespread use of these drugs."
Make sure to talk to your doctor about the use of over-the-counter pain relievers and whether they are right for you. You should always be aware of the side effects of drugs even if they are sold over-the-counter and seem relatively safe.