powered by centersite dot net
Pain Management
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Yoga Soothes Back Pain in StudyFDA Asks Maker of Opioid Painkiller Opana ER to Pull Drug From MarketOpioids Over-Prescribed After C-Sections: StudiesPersistent Pain May Lead to Memory Troubles1 in 5 Weight-Loss Surgery Patients Using Opioids Years LaterTaking Opioids Before Knee Surgery Could Raise Pain LaterERs May Need to Rethink Opioid Prescription PracticesCommon Painkillers Tied to Slight Rise in Heart Attack RiskOpioid Use by Iraq, Afghanistan War Vets Mirrors Rest of U.S.: Study'Mindfulness' Probably Won't Cure Your Back Pain: StudyMusic May Soothe the 'Savage Beast' of Post-Op PainInitial Rx Can Affect Likelihood of Long-Term Opioid UseOpioid Dependence Can Start in Just a Few DaysOpioid Painkillers and Xanax or Valium a Deadly Mix: StudyDiazepam Not Beneficial for Acute Low Back Pain in ERKids' OD Risk Rises When Opioids Left Out at HomeChronic Pain More Likely for Poor, Less Educated: StudySome Docs May Help Fuel Opioid Abuse EpidemicTry Drug-Free Options First for Low Back Pain, New Guidelines SayTwelve Percent of Women Fill Opioid Rx After Vaginal DeliveryLow Back Pain? Relax, Breathe and Try YogaOpioids and Alcohol a Dangerous CocktailTreatment of Hips Beneficial in Patients With Low Back PainCommon Painkillers Don't Ease Back Pain, Study FindsHigh Pain Tolerance Tied to 'Silent' Heart Attack RiskWhat You Need to Know When Prescribed an Opioid PainkillerDiscussing Opioid Risks With Patients Reduces MisuseCelebrex May Not Pose Bigger Heart Risk Than Similar Drugs: StudyMany Take Opioids Reluctantly for Back Pain: Survey'Fake Pills' May Help Ease Back PainHealth Tip: Need Pain Relief?DEA Puts Quota on Production of Opioid PainkillersRisk of Opioid Addiction Up 37 Percent Among Young U.S. AdultsCould Prescribed NSAID Painkillers Raise Heart Failure Risk?Opioid Epidemic Costs U.S. $78.5 Billion Annually: CDCReview Suggests Safe, Effective Ways to Relieve Pain Without MedsFDA: Opioids Plus Sedatives Pose Fatal OD RiskNon-addictive Painkiller Shows Promise in Animal TrialsCannabis Provides More Pain Relief for Men Than WomenAddiction Risk Low for Seniors Taking Post-Op Opioids: StudyDoctors Urged to Prescribe Lower Doses of Opioids, No RefillsPain Raises Risk of Opioid AddictionCommon Surgeries Raise Risk for Opioid Dependence: StudyDoes Medical Marijuana Reduce Need for Other Meds?Programs to Spot Painkiller Abuse Work, But Are Underused
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Depression: Depression & Related Conditions
Mental Disorders
Medications

Common Painkillers Tied to Slight Rise in Heart Attack Risk

HealthDay News
by By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: May 10th 2017

new article illustration

TUESDAY, May 9, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Commonly used painkillers such as Motrin, Advil and Aleve might increase your risk for heart attack, even in the first week of use, a new study suggests.

Overall, these drugs and others known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) increase the risk of a heart attack by 20 to 50 percent, compared with not using them, researchers found.

For most people, however, this represents only a small increased risk -- about 1 percent a year, the researchers said.

Still, "from the viewpoint of public health, even small increases in risk of heart attack are important because use of NSAIDs is so widespread," said lead researcher Michele Bally. She's an epidemiologist at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Center.

The increased risk of heart attack associated with NSAIDs was seen at any dose taken for one week, one month or more than one month. And the risk rose with higher doses, the study found.

NSAIDs are widely used to treat pain and inflammation from long-term conditions, such as arthritis and other joint diseases. Many people also take them for short-term problems, such as menstrual cramps, fever from a cold or flu or the occasional backache or headache, Bally said.

The study can't actually prove that NSAIDs raise the odds for a heart attack, she noted.

"This is an observational study based on drug prescribing or dispensing, and not all potentially influential factors could be taken into account," Bally said.

"Although this means that conclusions cannot be made about cause and effect, this study was the largest investigation of its type, and it was based on real-life observations," she said.

With that in mind, Bally and her team said prudent use of NSAIDS is called for.

To lower your odds for heart harm, she suggested considering all available treatment alternatives before deciding to treat occasional pain, fever or inflammation.

Read the label of NSAID medications and use the lowest possible effective dose, added Bally, who was a doctoral student at McGill University in Montreal at the time of the study.

And the study did not address one very common, less-potent NSAID: low-dose aspirin. Numerous well-conducted trials have found a daily "baby aspirin" can help curb at-risk people's odds for a dangerous cardiac event.

For the research, Bally and her colleagues analyzed four previously published studies that included a total of nearly 447,000 participants. More than 61,400 people suffered heart attacks.

In this type of study, called a meta-analysis, researchers attempt to find common trends within diverse studies.

The NSAIDs the researchers studied were ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil); naproxen (Aleve); diclofenac (Voltaren); celecoxib (Celebrex); and rofecoxib (Vioxx). Vioxx was pulled from the U.S. market in 2004 because it increased the risk of heart attack and stroke.

The risk of heart attack linked to NSAIDs was greatest with higher doses during the first month of use, Bally said.

The researchers found that daily doses of more than 1,200 milligrams (mg) of ibuprofen and over 750 mg of naproxen were particularly harmful within those first 30 days.

"With use of NSAIDs for longer than one month, this heightened risk did not seem to continue to increase even further," Bally said. "However, we did not study repeat heart attacks."

In general, people with heart disease or cardiac risk factors have a greater likelihood of heart attack following NSAID use than patients without these risk factors, she said.

Patients should be aware of their own risk for heart disease and discuss NSAID use with their doctor, Bally said.

"People taking these drugs for a chronic painful condition may want to consider whether the benefit of increasing the dose for better relief outweighs a possible increased risk of heart attack," Bally said.

Based on this new research and other trials, a California heart specialist agreed that patients shouldn't take these drugs mindlessly.

"Randomized trials and observational data have shown that use of NSAIDs can increase the risk of heart attacks and other types of cardiovascular events," said Dr. Gregg Fonarow. He's a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

"The absolute risk is small, but all individuals considering the use of these medications should carefully weigh the benefits against this increased risk," Fonarow said.

The report was published May 9 in the journal BMJ.

More information

For more on NSAIDs, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.