Information for this blog post was taken from an article on WebMD. To read the original piece in its entirety, click here.
Neosteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a popular type of painkiller, but they may be dangerous for people who have had a heart attack.
A study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association shows that heart attack survivors who are prescribed anti-inflammatory painkillers are 45% more likely to have another heart attack or die within a week of ingesting the drugs.
These painkillers, commonly known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), include ibuprofen, Indocin, Voltaren, and Celebrex. Ibuprofen was the most widely prescribed painkiller in the study, while Voltaren (diclofenac) was considered to have the highest risk preceding a heart attack. NSAIDs are attributed to increasing attack risks in those with heart disease as well as creating risk for those with healthy hearts.
“There is no apparent safe therapeutic window for NSAIDs in patients with prior heart attack,” says researcher Anne-Marie Schjerning Olsen, MB, who helped research the study at Copenhagen University in Denmark.
Routine knowledge and conservative approaches to heart treatment have long concluded that NSAIDs should be avoided altogether when treating patients with a history of heart attack. If a NSAID prescription is inevitable, it is recommended that it be used in the smallest dose possible to ensure that cardiovascular risk is kept at a minimum.