Even Long-Term Use of OTC Painkillers Can Be Deadly

One of the more popular articles I've written as of late concerned the various misconceptions consumers have about the safety of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. In fact, many believe OTC drugs don't pose the same risks as those prescribed by a health care professional and are completely safe to use, but they would be very wrong, according to a new study.

While studying the effects of OTC pain relievers -- Advil, Motrin and Aleve -- over the long-term on slashing the incidence of oral cancer, researchers uncovered an unexpected result. Although these drugs did cut the development of oral cancer by half, those positive results were superceeded by an increased risk of dying from heart disease.

The study -- surveying some 900 Norwegian patients who were smokers and more prone to cancer and heart problems -- found those who took these OTC painkillers for a minimum of six months doubled their chances of dying from a heart attack, stroke or other heart-related problem.

Even scarier to me is the fact that, according to a Vanderbilt University cancer expert who worked on the study, these findings were presented, and largely ignored, during a February hearing of the FDA because they appeared on only one slide.

Just another reminder you certainly don't need to take any OTC medications to relieve your aches and pain. And you can do that safely by optimizing your intake of omega-3 fats via taking a high-quality fish or cod liver oil daily.

And if you're looking for more ways to fight inflammation naturally, I strongly urge you to review my recent article on on beating pain and protecting your heart, all at the same time.

Yahoo News April 18, 2005

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