Common Painkillers Linked to Increased Risk of Heart Problems

Drugs that include traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) as well as new generation anti-inflammatory drugs (COX-2 inhibitors) have been linked to cardiovascular risks.

Researchers performed a comprehensive analysis of all randomized controlled trials that compared any NSAID with other NSAIDs or placebo. The analysis included more than 30 trials that examined in total more than 116,000 patients. Drugs such as rofecoxib and lumiracoxib were associated with twice the risk of heart attack, while ibuprofen was associated with more than three times the risk of stroke. Etoricoxib and diclofenac were associated with the highest risk of cardiovascular death.

Eurekalert reports:

"... [T]hese cardiovascular risks are worrying because many patients have both cardiovascular disease and musculoskeletal disease, and suggests that it is time for an evaluation of a broader range of alternatives."

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