FDA strengthens warning that NSAIDs increase heart attack and stroke risk

Back in 2005, the FDA warned that taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen increased the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Last week it took the unusual step of further strengthening this warning. This was done on the advice of an expert panel that reviewed new information about NSAIDs and their risks. Because NSAIDs are widely used, it’s important to be aware of downsides of taking an NSAID and to take steps to limit the risk. Many people take NSAIDs to relieve mild to moderate pain. These medications may be particularly effective in conditions in which pain results primarily from inflammation, such as arthritis or athletic injury. Examples of commonly used over-the-counter NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and naproxen (Aleve); celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren) are prescription NSAIDs. Aspirin is also an NSAID, but it does not pose a risk of heart attack or stroke and is not covered by this new warning. For more than 15 years, experts have known that NSAIDs increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. They may also elevate blood pressure and cause heart failure. The risk of heart attack and stroke achieved special notoriety with rofecoxib (Vioxx), a type of NSAID called a COX-2 inhibitor. It caused as many as 140,000 heart attacks in the U.S. during the five years it was on the market (Vioxx was removed from the market in 2004). The regrettable experience with Vioxx raised awareness about the c...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Heart Health heart attack heart disease NSAIDS Stroke Source Type: news

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