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Jun 3, 2016

NSAIDs and your health

NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) include ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac and celecoxib. The uses of these over-the-counter drugs range from menstrual cramps to sports injury. Although it is stated on the drug facts label of these OTC drugs, many people fail to recognize that these drugs increase ones risk for stroke and heart attacks. An increase can occur in the first weeks of use. It is alarming that these drugs are FDA approved and still being sold over the counter! Meanwhile, the FDA is strengthening there warnings that NSAIDs "can cause heart attacks and strokes," why not just pull them off the shelves?
Here are some facts pulled straight from the FDA's website:

"Based on our review and the advisory committees’ recommendations, the prescription NSAID labels will be revised to reflect the following information:
  • The risk of heart attack or stroke can occur as early as the first weeks of using an NSAID. The risk may increase with longer use of the NSAID.
  • The risk appears greater at higher doses.
  • It was previously thought that all NSAIDs may have a similar risk. Newer information makes it less clear that the risk for heart attack or stroke is similar for all NSAIDs; however, this newer information is not sufficient for us to determine that the risk of any particular NSAID is definitely higher or lower than that of any other particular NSAID.
  • NSAIDs can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke in patients with or without heart disease or risk factors for heart disease. A large number of studies support this finding, with varying estimates of how much the risk is increased, depending on the drugs and the doses studied.
  • In general, patients with heart disease or risk factors for it have a greater likelihood of heart attack or stroke following NSAID use than patients without these risk factors because they have a higher risk at baseline.
  • Patients treated with NSAIDs following a first heart attack were more likely to die in the first year after the heart attack compared to patients who were not treated with NSAIDs after their first heart attack.
  • There is an increased risk of heart failure with NSAID use.

There are other options when dealing with headaches, cramps, inflammation,etc. Temporarily treating one ailment with the risk of creating another is not medicine.