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Painkiller taken for arthritis is health risk PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joan Davis   
Tuesday, 10 September 2013 22:33

(From the Daily Telegraph 30th May 2013)

Millions of arthritis sufferers could be increasing their risk of heart attack and stroke by over a third by being prescribed large doses of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

These drugs include ibuprofen, diclofenac and a new medication called coxibs. Researchers looked at the highest doses of painkillers prescribed by doctors – which is twice the daily amount recommended for headaches and minor ailments. The Oxford University study of over 350,000 patients, found the chance of a heart attack or stroke on a high dose rose by almost 40% and the risks are similar to those of another arthritis drug called Vioxx. Vioxx was withdrawn voluntarily almost 10 years ago (in 2004) because it caused heart attacks and strokes. A third of the extra heart attack patients die. NSAIDs in higher doses were also found to double the risk of heart disease and complications such as bleeding ulcers. The study was funded by the Medical Research Council and British Heart Foundation and published in “The Lancet”. The lead author was Prof. Colin Baigent.

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 September 2013 16:09
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