Pain Relievers Tied to Immediate Heart Risks

Pain Relievers Tied to Immediate Heart Risks – The New York Times

The pain relievers known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or Nsaids, are known to carry heart risks. A new analysis found that those risks can arise within a week of starting the drugs.

Researchers did a systematic review of studies involving more than 446,000 people ages 40 to 79, of whom more than 61,000 had heart attacks

In those who used Nsaids one to seven days, the risk of heart attack increased

  • 24 percent for celecoxib (Celebrex),
  • 48 percent for ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin),
  • 50 percent for diclofenac (Voltaren), and
  • 53 percent for naproxen (Aleve).
  • 58 percent for rofecoxib (Vioxx), which was taken off the market in 2004 because of its cardiovascular risks.

The study, in BMJ, found that the risk increases with higher doses and duration of treatment, but there was no significant increase in risk after one month of taking the drugs.

The lead author, Michèle Bally, an epidemiologist at the University of Montreal Hospital, said that the absolute increase in risk is quite small, since the risk of heart attack for most people is small to begin with.

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