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High Doses of Common Painkillers Could Have Lethal Side Effects

Filed May 30th, 2013 Joshua Sophy

New research shows that taking common painkiller drugs like Advil and Motrin could significantly increase a person’s risk of suffering a potentially fatal cardiovascular event.

People who take drugs in the class known as Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) over a long period of time and at high doses have a one-third increased risk of suffering a heart attack, stroke, or dying from cardiovascular disease than people who don’t take these drugs at that rate. The new study, from researchers at Oxford University, has been published in the most recent edition of the journal The Lancet, according to a Reuters report.

This study adds to evidence we’ve been reporting recently on the dangers of common painkiller drugs, many of which are sold over-the-counter in the U.S. Many people believe there is little or no danger to taking common OTC painkillers and to relieve more severe pain, they might take more than the dosing instructions on safety labels indicate. As medical costs rise, many people will simply take more OTC painkillers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen rather than visit a doctor, according to our reports. In some cases, this can have lethal side effects.

Reuters reports that the risk reported on by this study was noted mostly among people who suffered from chronic pain, like arthritis.

The most recent study examined the impact of taking ibuprofen, which is often sold here under the names Advil or Motrin, and diclofenac. The risk of heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular disease noted in the research is on the level with a risk seen in the recalled drug Vioxx. Vioxx, a COX-2 inhibitor, was recalled in 2004 because it carried a significantly high risk of fatal heart attacks, according to the Reuters report.

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