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Increased Heart Risk Associated With Ibuprofen Use - BMJ Study Shows Risk of Some NSAIDs Similar to Vioxx For Heart Attacks

June 1st 2006

Increased Heart Risk Associated With Ibuprofen Use - BMJ Study Shows Risk of Some NSAIDs Similar to Vioxx For Heart Attacks


Researchers have evaluated several studies and have concluded that some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may pose a risk of cardiovascular events similar to Cox-2 Inhibitors like Vioxx. The study, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), combined all the available randomized data from 138 trials for form a conclusion.  This meta-analysis included 140,000 patients.

The researchers from Italy and the UK reviewed the data and found (as expected) a correlation between Cox-2 inhibitors and an increased risk of vascular events. There was not enough data to determine whether these risks were dose dependent, or whether the risks might differ among aspirin and non-aspirin users.


They did find that two of the NSAIDs studied had an increased risk of vascular events associated with them.  Both diclofenac and ibuprofen, were linked with a similar increase risk of vascular events, just like COX 2 inhibitors.  Interestingly the risk was lower for naproxen when used in high doses.

They compared COX 2 inhibitor with the placebo, and a COX 2 inhibitor with a traditional NSAID in randomized trials.  By combining the trails, they believe their analysis provides a much more reliable estimate of the cardiovascular risks of these drugs. 


The researchers say the average increased risk of vascular events was modest among the people studied in the trials: For every 1,000 people taking an NSAID or COX 2 inhibitor, around three extra people per year would have a vascular event, most likely a heart attack.

In conclusion, the researchers believe that very large randomized trials are needed to identify which anti-inflammatory drug regimens minimize serious cardiovascular and gastrointestinal problems.  Also, it is recommended that doctors work with their patients to choose the best solutions for treating their chronic pain.

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Dan Wilson
Best Syndication

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Important:  The material on Best Syndication is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. You should promptly seek professional medical care if you have any concern about your health, and you should always consult your physician before starting a fitness program.

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