Call Us:212.543.3400

Painkillers Likely to Worsen Heart Disease

A new study revealed that painkillers known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can pose problems for people with heart disease or high blood pressure. NSAIDs are generally safe, but the main concern about its use has been related to gastrointestinal bleeding or upset stomach.

In light of recent discoveries, these concerns may also include heart problems. NSAIDs like ibuprofen, naproxen and celecoxib are likely to raise the risk of heart attack or stroke by 47 percent.

This doesn't mean that taking NSAIDs should be avoided. What the researchers were trying to convey is that an alternative should be tried first. Instead of NSAIDs, perhaps the patient would start with an aspirin first. Aspirin is proven effective against pain and inflammation and offers relief against myocardial infarction.

Another alternative to NSAIDs is acetaminophen. However, doctors warn not to take in excess of 3,250 milligrams of acetaminophen within a 24-hour period. Also, it is important to read labels and warnings posted on the packaging. Acetaminophen is available in most over-the-counter products.

If acetaminophen and aspirin do not give sufficient relief from the pain or discomfort, the researchers suggest a low-dose NSAID first before taking it in larger doses. Previous studies revealed that naproxen is safer than ibuprofen. However, this finding has been challenged.

If the patient should take ibuprofen and aspirin, the aspirin should be taken at least 30 minutes before taking the ibuprofen and at least eight hours thereafter. One can protect the heart by taking the aspirin first because it can fit snugly into the pocket of the enzyme called cyclooxygenase. Ibuprofen, on the other hand, tends to block the aspirin's entry to that pocket.

Archive

Testimonials

"She was very honest, great sense of humor and straight forward. She is so down to earth. I like her style. I feel like I finally found my doctor. Thank you, Jesus!"
Read More

Let us help you protect and ensure your optimum heart health

UpToDate Medical Library

Welcome to our UpToDate library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

UpToDate library
mapicon
,
Map and driving directions
map_icon
,
Map and driving directions
map_icon
,
Map and driving directions