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Published On: Sun, Dec 21st, 2014

Ibuprofen, other NSAIDs may be risk to health

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Your health and self medicationBy Doyin Ojosipe

Studies have shown that habitual use of ibuprofen and some other Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) could put their users at health risk as they may develop irregular heart rhythm, which may in turn, affect pumping and flow of blood; this could lead to stroke and heart failure.

According to experts, this group of drugs may also be linked to gastrointestinal disorder like stomach ulcers as well.

Although, it was noted that most patients affected are either aged or have some other kind of ailment which could be triggered by the consistent use of some of the painkillers.

In their research, Arthritis patients who took the drugs for a year in UK had recorded four avoidable deaths caused by fatal heart attacks.

A report published in the independent noted that, though the discovery had lead to a production of another painkiller known as Vioxx, similar risk as all NSAIDs have also been recorded, “Now, however, the study’s authors believe that high-dose treatments with older NSAIDs – like daily 150mg prescriptions of diclofenac or 2,400mg prescriptions of ibuprofen – could be as big a risk factor for heart attacks as Vioxx. All NSAIDs, the authors said, double the risk of heart-failure and produce a two- to four-times increased risk of gastrointestinal complications,” it added.

Author of the research, Professor Colin Baigent of the University of Oxford’s Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Unit, had recorded that thousands of patients suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, had relied on high intake of ibuprofen, diclofenac or other NSAIDs to relieve them of their pain.

As reported in the independent, “The study, which analysed 639 random drug trials and gathered data on more than 350,000 patients, found for every 1,000 arthritis sufferers, the rate of people suffering a “major vascular event” such as heart attack, stroke or death increased from 8 per 1,000 to 11 per 1,000 with long-term, high-dose use of common NSAIDs.”

However, General practitioners who have commended the research said, the research should be used  in context as when the painkillers are taken in proper doses and with care, the result may be different.

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