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Although an FDA review found that higher doses increased the risk of heart attack or stroke—and the risk may increase with length of use—”there is no period of use shown to be without risk,” an FDA deputy director says. And while people with cardiovascular disease are more at risk for being adversely affected by NSAIDs, “everyone may be at risk—even people without an underlying risk for cardiovascular disease,” the FDA rep says.
NSAIDs decrease production of prostaglandins, chemicals spewed out after an injury that trigger inflammation, WNCNreports. Per the FDA review, over-the-counter NSAIDs could up the risk of heart attack and stroke by about 10%, low-dose prescription meds by 20%, and higher-dose prescription NSAIDs by 50%, with “significant variability” in each estimate, an Emory University medical professor tells the Times.
One NSAID, Vioxx, was taken off shelves in 2004 after being linked to 140,000 heart attacks over a five-year period, Bloomberg notes. The director of Northwestern University’s Center for Communication and Health says that “one of the underlying messages (is) there are no completely safe pain relievers, period.”
How to cut down on potential NSAID risks, per the Harvard Health Blog: Take the lowest dose that works, limit how long you take it, and never take more than one NSAID at once.
In case you missed it read about how Rick Santorum major donor in 2012 suggested that women should put aspirin between their knees to prevent pregnancy.
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