Prescription-Strength Painkillers Linked to Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke

Posted By The Carlson Law Firm || 31-Aug-2012

A new study offers a warning to people who regularly take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs). Patients with chronic pain, who are more likely to take NSAIDs for extended periods, will want to evaluate their use of the drugs. Indeed, anyone who takes NSAIDs may wish to weigh the evidence before taking the drugs.

Study Highlights Serious Health Problems

The study, conducted by scientists at Switzerland’s Bern University, was published in the British Medical Journal. It looked at 31 medical trials with more than 116,000 participants.

Seven drugs were at issue in the study, including ibuprofen (sometimes sold as Advil), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Cataflam or Voltaren) and naproxen; the researchers also studied rofecoxib (Vioxx), lumiracoxib (Prexige) and etoricoxib (Arcoxia), which are not available in the U.S. Vioxx is a COX-2 inhibitor, which is a type of NSAID.

The health risks that the drugs appear to cause are serious. They include heart attacks, strokes and cardiovascular death. Ulcers and serious stomach and gastrointestinal bleeding are also risk factors for NSAIDs.

A startling conclusion of the study is that, for an additional heart attack or stroke to occur, only 25 to 50 people would have to take NSAIDs for a year. This is a significant increase in risk for those taking such pharmaceutical drugs. What is more, some patients who take these drugs may already be at higher risk for serious health problems.

What You Can Do If You Have Been Affected

Patients who take NSAIDs may have other medical options for pain management. They should speak with their doctors about their choices and the risks.

People who have been harmed by NSAIDs – whether they have suffered a heart attack, stroke, cardiovascular issues or other problems – should speak with an attorney about their rights. An experienced Texas product liability attorney can evaluate the case and offer insight on how to proceed.


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