Pain relievers and the risk of heart problems, the NY Times weighs in.
For many, pain relievers are a way of life, since they offer relief of painful symptoms. While it is always better to resolve a problem instead of medicating it, unfortunately, there are many folks who have been using meds for years and the result is joint damage and other degenerative processes that are pain producing. Sure, it is usually not too late to try the chiropractic or other approach, however, the fact is many people for whatever the reason default back to pain relievers. Pain relievers are no free lunch, since they can cause a host of different health problems including increasing your risk for a heart problems with prolonged usage or damage the kidneys.
Check out the article here
Common pain relievers like ibuprofen and naproxen — called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or Nsaids — are the go-to drugs for headaches and pulled muscles, arthritis and menstrual cramps. Their labels have long warned that overuse may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, but we rely on them as we do on few other medications. And for good reason: They work.
Occasional use of Nsaids is not likely to lead to cardiovascular consequences. But an authoritative and ambitious new analysis that included data from over 600 trials, including detailed case histories of more than 350,000 patients, concludes that people who take high doses of Nsaids daily increase their cardiovascular risk by as much as a third, compared with those taking a placebo. The one exception is naproxen, which may actually have a protective effect against heart attacks.
The absolute risk of cardiovascular trouble for those who take high doses of other Nsaids regularly is still quite small. Nonetheless, the findings suggest that people who rely on them may want to explore alternative pain management methods, especially if they have other risks for heart disease, or a family history of it.
“There aren’t really good choices for chronic pain,” said Dr. Marie R. Griffin, a preventive medicine specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center who wrote a commentary on the new study, published last month in The Lancet. In addition to the potential harm, Dr. Griffin said, painkillers like Nsaids often don’t really do the job when it comes to chronic pain.