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Ibuprofen and Aspirin Can be a Deadly Combo

The common painkiller ibuprofen could boost the likelihood of heart problems in high-risk patients with osteoarthritis.

Researchers examined the cardiovascular health of more than 18,000 osteoarthritis patients over the age of 50.

The patients were taking part in the Therapeutic Arthritis Research and Gastrointestinal Event Trial (TARGET), and were either taking a high dose of lumiracoxib, a COX-2 inhibitor, ibuprofen, or naproxen.

Patients whose risk of cardiovascular disease was deemed low during the study remained that regardless of their drug regimen. But 10 percent were considered to be at high risk of a heart attack or stroke; some of these patients were taking low-dose aspirin for this problem.

When these high-risk patients were taking both aspirin and ibuprofen, they were nine times as likely to have heart attacks and strokes over the course of a year as those on lumiracoxib. Previous studies have suggested that ibuprofen interferes with the effects of aspirin.

Among high-risk patients not taking aspirin, the rate of heart attacks or strokes was higher for those on COX -2 inhibitors and ibuprofen than it was for those on naproxen.

Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases April 5, 2007

WFTV.com April 6, 2007

Science Daily April 5, 2007

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

You might think that since you have grown up with Tylenol and it has been available without a prescription that it is a safe drug to use for pain, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Some 56,000 people end up in the emergency room each year from misuse of acetaminophen (Tylenol), and it is actually the most common cause of liver failure, not hepatitis C as you might believe.

The ability to purchase painkillers like Tylenol or ibuprofen over the counter doesn't mean they are any safer, more effective or better for your overall health than a prescription drug that can be just as deadly.

If you're concerned about the safety of an over-the-counter (OTC) drug you've been taking for a while or remain skeptical, I urge you to review the seven common misconceptions about the true safety of such medicines. Over-the-counter drugs can have serious side effects and can even result in death if taken incorrectly.

Two years ago the FDA published a study showing that smokers who used OTC painkillers for at least six months more than doubled their chances of dying from a stroke or heart attack.

And, as with prescription drugs, OTC drugs can also interact with foods, other medications, and existing medical conditions and cause some major problems.

Your best bet for treating your pain safely and effectively: Review this list of natural alternatives I posted in a previous article.

Considering that ibuprofen and aspirin worsen your risks of breast cancer by 50 percent, I'm not surprised to learn this over-the-counter (OTC) drug combo can harm the health of patients in other ways as well.

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