Millions of Americans take ibuprofen or naproxen for pain relief. They are the go-to drugs for headaches, pulled muscles, arthritis and menstrual cramps.
New findings suggest those common painkillers, called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, increase the risk of heart attack or stroke risk if taken in high doses. Brands like Motrin and Advil contain these drugs.
In 2004, Vioxx, Bextra and Celebrex were found to increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes, and they were pulled from the market.
Dr. Tara Narula, associate director of Lenox Hill Hospital’s cardiac care unit, told “CBS This Morning: Saturday” that the people who have to worry are those who use these drugs more than the recommended over-the-counter dose. Consumers with chronic diseases such as osteo-arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis should be careful.
The labels warn about overuse, but a new study quantifies the actual risk.
“The latest research looked at several hundred thousand patients, 300,000, and what they found is that if 1,000 patients take it for a year, three are at risk for having a heart attack, one of which can be fatal,” said Narula. “So these medications taken in high doses can be exactly as risky and dangerous as those removed from the market.”
Read more at CBS NEWS.