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The Dangers of High Dose Painkillers

admin - June 22, 2013

dangers of painkillers for heart attack stroke

An aspirin a day keeps a heart attack at bay, right? While low doses of common painkillers have been seen to offer positive heart benefits, new study findings show there may be serious dangers associated with high doses of pain medications.

Researchers gathered results from 639 randomized trials that had previously tested non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), as well as admissions to hospitals for cardiovascular and gastrointestinal disease. Findings showed that high doses of pain medications, like ibuprofen and diclofenac, actually increased risk of a major cardiovascular event, like heart attack, stroke, or cardiovascular disease. For every 1,000 people with average heart disease risk, those who took high doses of NSAIDS for at least one year had an increased risk of one-third compared to those who did not take high doses of NSAIDS long-term.

However, it’s important to note that this risk is primarily associated with people who suffer from chronic pain, like arthritis. High dosage includes anything at or higher than 150mg of diclogenac or 2400mg of ibuprofen per day for long periods of time (such as a year or longer). Taking a high dose of common painkillers every once in a while is not associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk.

“A short course of lower dose tablets purchased without a prescription, for example, for a muscle sprain, is not likely to be hazardous,” said Colin Baigent of the clinical trial service unit at Britain’s Oxford University, in a Reuters article. “For many arthritis patients, NSAIDS reduce joint pain and swelling effectively and help them to enjoy a reasonable quality of life,” he continued. “We really must be careful about the way we present the risks of these drugs.”


Understanding Heart Disease Risks

While long-term use of high dose painkillers may have negative effects on your heart attack risk, there are other risk factors that are just as (if not more) dangerous for your health. Many risk factors for heart disease, like obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and physical inactivity are controllable by you. You have the power to lower certain risk factors that could increase your chance of someday developing heart disease.

Learn more about heart disease now, or explore how a heart disease screening from Life Line Screening works. See how you can take control of the health of your heart by simply knowing your level of risk.


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1 Comment so far
  1. David Ruoff - June 24, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    I would like to get on Dr. Oz Show, and tell them about pain killers. America is out of control.

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