Ibuprofen May Increase Heart Problems

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INVC,,

Ibuprofen, the popular over-the-counter painkiller, may increase the odds of heart problems in patients who have osteoarthritis and are taking daily aspirin to help lower their cardiovascular risk, said Dr. K K Aggarwal, President, Heart Care Foundation of India and Editor eMedinewS.

Quoting a study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, Dr. Aggarwal said that ibuprofen may cancel out the cardio-protective effects of daily low-dose aspirin.

In the study, use of ibuprofen and aspirin boosted arthritis patients’ one-year heart attack and stroke risk nine-fold.

Previous studies have suggested that drugs known as cox-2 inhibitors, as well as non-selective nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), increase the risk of cardiovascular events. Many cox-2 inhibitors have been withdrawn from the market.

In the study investigators revisited data on more than 18,000 individuals over the age of 50 with osteoarthritis, comparing the cox-2 inhibitor lumiracoxib with either ibuprofen or naproxen. Ibuprofen and naproxen are both traditional NSAIDs.

In the study, high-risk patients taking aspirin and ibuprofen were about nine times more likely to have heart attacks and strokes over one year as those taking lumiracoxib. People taking ibuprofen were also more likely to develop congestive heart failure than those taking the cox-2 inhibitor.

The findings, are important as ibuprofen is easily available and if cardiac patients take this over-the-counter pills it may be dangerous. It can block the effect of aspirin, so there can be more heart failures, more heart attacks and more hypertension.

This is an important public health message.

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