Painkillers Can Lead to Heart Attacks, Find Researchers

As per a Canadian study, the seemingly innocuous common painkillers can be dangerous as they can up the risk of a heart attack. Such common painkillers are referred to as NSAIDs, acronym for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The study reveals that NSAIDs like ibuprofen, celecoxib, diclofenac, and naproxen that are easily available over the counter or by prescription for higher doses can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke by about 20 percent to 50 percent on an average. Such medicines are administered for curing minor pains, flu, back pain, and menstrual cramps.

Any Dosage of Drugs up Risk

In the research study conducted by Michèle Bally and her team from the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre, Canada, findings from 446,763 people, with 61,460 of them having had a heart attack, gleaned from Canadian and European databases, were examined. The aim was to assess the risk, determinants and time course of heart attacks associated with the use of NSAIDs under typical circumstances.

Michèle Bally and her team of researchers found that any dosage of these drugs for a week, a month, or longer was associated with an increased risk of a heart attack. The risk seemed to wane once the painkillers were discontinued. While the first 30 days after discontinuation saw a small decline, in the period after that and one year saw a greater decline of under 11 percent.

There have been previous research in this direction too linking NSAIDs with heart attacks known as myocardial infarction. However, specific details in terms of timing, dosage, and treatment durations were less clear.