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Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal Risks of NSAIDs Revealed in Analysis

Filed June 6th, 2013 Joshua Sophy

New data on the side effects associated with some common painkiller drugs — many sold over-the-counter — shows they may pose both cardiovascular and gastrointestinal injury risks.

According to a report recently, a meta-analysis of numerous clinical trials on the effects of high doses of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (commonly referred to as NSAIDs) shows that drugs like COX-2 inhibitors (coxibs), diclofenac, and ibuprofen can significantly increase a person’s chance of having a major coronary or vascular event.

The study was published recently in the medical journal The Lancet. A person taking high doses of coxibs or diclofenac faces a one-third greater risk of suffering a major vascular event, according to the analysis. These events could range from a non-fatal heart attack or stroke to vascular death. These same drugs, along with ibuprofen (sold OTC as Advil or Motrin) “significantly” increase a person’s risk of suffering a coronary event.

All drugs in the NSAID class included in the analysis, including naproxen (which is also available OTC and sold commonly under that name or Aleve) increase a person’s chances of suffering gastrointestinal complications.

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