Certain pain relievers can raise odds for heart attack, stroke and even death
Everyday known pain relievers which are used to treat inflammation like Advil and Celebrex can increase the risk for heart attack, stroke and even death. According to a review on recent research.
Researchers from the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Switzerland, had examined the finding of 31 trials which had involved seven non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and determined that cardiovascular risk needs consideration prior to prescribing any of these medications.
These medications are vastly used worldwide in the treatment of pain and inflammation according to Dr. Gregg Fonarow, spokesperson for the American Heart Association and professor of cardiology at University of California, Los Angeles.
Professor Fonarow states numerous studies had demonstrated that many of these medications are linked with an increased risk of cardiovascular events, especially if used for a longer duration of time and higher doses. It is still unclear as to the extent of the risk and how the cardiovascular risk can deviate between different NSAIDs. Dr. Fonarow did not take part in the study.
The NSAIDs which were studied had shown all of them increased the risk of cardiovascular events but the extent of risk is small in absolute terms. Approximately one event per 100 patient years of follow-up.
For many patients the benefits outweigh the risks and other measures can be taken to decrease the patients cardiovascular risk.
This report is published online in the January 11th edition of BMU.
The year 2004, had the drug Vioxx, which is also a NSAID removed from the market due to its increase risk for heart attacks.
September of last year brought reports of over-the-counter medications having serious side effects.
In order to investigate the association between NSAIDs and heart problems, researchers had reviewed 31 trials in which had included 116,429 patients. The method of reviewing trail results in order to find a pattern is referred to as meta-analysis.
The pain medications in which the patients were taking included Naproxen, Aleve, ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, Voltaren, Celebrex, Arcoxia, Vioxx, Prexige or placebo.
In total, the number of heart events among patients taking NSAIDs was low, as found by the researchers. In 29 trials, 554 heart attacks had happened. In 26 trials, 377 strokes had been reported and in 28 trials, 676 people had died.
In comparison to patients taking a placebo, those taking Vioxx and Prexige had double the risk for heart attack and those taking ibuprofen had three times the risk. The highest risks for cardiac death were linked to Arcoxia and Voltaren, where the risk factor was around four times more than that of a placebo according to research findings.
Naproxen seemed to carry the least risk among the medications.
Researchers state that their study gives the best available proof on the safety of these medications. Even though conjecture remains little evidence is available to advocate that any of the examined medications are safe in cardiovascular terms. Cardiovascular risks need to be considered when prescribing any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication.
It has been noted that even though meta-analysis can leave numerous questions unanswered it still is valuable information.
Dr. Eric J. Topol, director of Scripps Translational Science Institute states that even with the limitations the study has made many excellent contributions on the issue of NSAIDs, these findings need to be factored into the mix.
The FDA provides information on NSAIDs at U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
In 2005, Dr. Gurkirpal Singh, professor of medicine, immunology and rheumatology at Stanford University Medical School at Palo Alto, California conducted an alike study with the same conclusions found.
The FDA requires black box alert warnings of heart disease and stroke risk on prescription painkillers and over-the-counter painkillers must provide more information about the risk factors.
Some alternatives which have been proven effective for pain relief:
Chiropractic care ranks number one in alternative treatments for pain relief. It can treat pain in muscles, joints, bones and connective tissue.
Treatments can involve one or more manual adjustments in which the doctor manipulates on or more joints involved with the pain. Many chiropractors will also incorporate nutrition, herbal, exercise and other treatments as deemed necessary.
Chiropractic restores functioning, aides in injury prevention and immensely decrease pain levels. Chiropractic has been shown valuable also in the areas of carpal tunnel, headaches, migraines, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia among numerous conditions.
Many studies have shown that acupuncture treatments have the ability to reduce pain. Various points are used dependent upon the area of pain. Acupuncture has been known to be effective for back and neck pain, inflammation, pinched nerves, carpal tunnel and other conditions.