Many people prefer common painkillers such as, ibuprofen when they get headache, backache, toothache, menstrual cramps and many other pains for quick relief. However, a fresh study reveals using this and other classes of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAIDs) for as little as 1 week may increase the risk of heart attack. Other NSAIDs includes diclofenac, naproxen, celecoxib. They are available to people without the prescription in supermarkets and corner shops or by prescription for higher doses.
The study published in the British Medical Journal, analysed data from 446,763 men and women from Canada, Finland and the United kingdom. Among them, 61,460 had experienced a heart attack. Researchers studied NSAID use in individual participant, which included ibuprofen, diclofenac, celecoxib and naproxen.
Studies found that individuals who took any of these painkillers at any dose or at least 1 week had a 20 to 50 percent increased risk of heart attack also known as myocardial infarction than those who did not use them. Furthermore, researchers identified a possible 100 percent increased risk with rofecoxib and a possible 75 percent increased risk for both ibuprofen and naproxen.
They added that the onset of risk of acute myocardial infarction occurred in the first week and appeared greatest in the first month of treatment with higher doses.
Since, their study was purely observational, they noted that they were unable to draw conclusions about cause and effect between NSAID use and risk of heart attack. They added their study allowed them to conclude with 90 percent certainty that the NSAIDs increase risk of myocardial infarction.
However, they focussed doctors should calculate the risks and benefits of NSAIDs before starting the treatment, and pay even more attention when prescribing higher doses.