A new study indicates that there are regular painkillers that may cause heart attack, stroke or serious bleeding among heart attack survivors especially those taking prescription blood thinners.
The discovery may cause a great concern for those using it, since the painkillers, which is known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSADs) and anti-clot medications are commonly used by heart attack survivors.
Researchers stated “For all sorts of reasons, many of us have been concerned about NSAIDs in a heart attack context for a long time,” said Dr. Charles Campbell, chief of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Tennessee Erlanger Health Systems in Chattanooga. “For example, we know NSAIDs have an adverse effect on the kidney. And we have long worried that what this study has found was going to be the case.”
There is no safest way to run a test that could determine risk of taking NSAID. The bleeding risk has gone high even within the first three days of NSAID use. The team reported in the Feb 24 issue of JAMA.
“I would absolutely minimize your NSAID use if you’re a patient in this category,” Campbell said. These nonsteroidal painkillers are what most people usualy would take for their arthritis pain and muscle discomfort. Stated Campbell, the co-author of an editorial who also supports the findings.
“We can’t just tell them to just suck it up. But we’ll have to think about different solutions for these folks, because the NSAID risk is just too high,” he added.
There are several common over-the-counter NSAIDs in the United States that most people would usually take like Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin and Nuprin) and naproxen (Aleve and Naproyn). Also including prescription options are diclofenac (Voltaren, Cambia) and COX-2 inhibitor drug celecoxib (Celebrex)
“I would say that this issue may be an even bigger cause for concern in the U.S. than among the study population,” said Campbell, “because Europeans generally have less access to over-the-counter NSAIDs than Americans. I’ll bet NSAID usage among American heart attack survivors is even higher.”