Tuesday, May 10, 2011
NSAIDs are a problem for Cardiac Patients
The study used the Danish National Patient Registry and identified 83,675 patients who had a first MI between 1997 and 2006. The average age was 68 years and 65% were men. All the NSAIDs (except Naprosyn) used during the observation period were associated with an increased risk for death or new heart attack. Diclofenac (brand name Voltaren) was the worst.
Readers should not go away thinking NSAIDs cause heart attacks. This study looked at patients who had already had an MI. But for those patients, the over-the-counter pain relievers should be avoided. Many patients with heart disease also have arthritis or other pain syndromes. We need to come up with safe treatments for pain or use "safer" NSAIDs like low dose Naprosyn or Ibuprofen only when the benefit is weighed with the risk.
Just because something is sold without a prescription does not mean it is without risk. Tell your doctor every medication you take.
Posted by Toni Brayer, MD at 10:18 PM