FDA: Non-Aspirin Painkillers Even In Small Amounts Can Kill You

As far back as 2005 the FDA advised that non-aspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, could up the risk of heart attack and stroke.


The watchdog agency is now boosting that warning, noting that drugs like ibuprofen (often sold under the Motrin IB brand), naproxen (Aleve), and celecoxib (Celebrex) may pose a risk even in small amounts and that these drugs should be used sparingly and for short periods, the New York Times reports. (Aspirin, although an NSAID, doesn’t pose the same risk, but does carry some of its own, the FDA notes.)

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.

Source: Newser

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Posted by on July 14, 2015. Filed under NEWS I FIND INTERESTING. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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6 Responses to FDA: Non-Aspirin Painkillers Even In Small Amounts Can Kill You

  1. Miles Lee Reply

    July 14, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    I’ve a bad back and take tons of Ibuprofen, because aspirin messes up my stomach. I didn’t know any of this. Thanks Mike.

  2. Lyndon Probus Reply

    July 14, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    I knew of this after learning it several years ago. I rarely ever took NSAIDS so it wasn’t an issue for me. Good public service posting this Mike.

  3. Sara Pinder Reply

    July 14, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    Oh no. What am I going to do now. I get terrible headaches and can’t take aspirin either.

  4. Timmy Mahoney Reply

    July 14, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    It’s all about who you believe. Remember the too many eggs will kill you thing? How about mayo is deadly? I’ve been using ibuprofen for years and I’m healthy as a horse.

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