Pain Pills and Heart Attack

Aug 2017

​Short-term use of NSAIDs, including ibuprofen and naproxen (Aleve), is associated with increased risk of acute myocardial infarction (heart attack).

My patients have all heard me talk about how important it is to find the cause of your pain and inflammation so that we can help your body heal properly. One of my goals is to avoid the need for NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) medication. While they can be effective at reducing the symptoms of inflammation, they do not usually fix the problem that was causing the inflammation. Without addressing the root cause of your symptoms, the symptoms often return once the medication wears off.

In a study published in
The British Medical Journal in April 2017, the conclusion of the study states that

“All NSAIDs, including naproxen, were found to be associated with an increased risk of acute myocardial infarction.”

Another interesting detail is that it is not even long-term use that is associated with the risk.

“Risk was greatest during the first month of NSAID use and with higher doses.”

While it is not clear whether the NSAIDs are actually causing the heart attacks, it is definitely in our best interest to resolve the complaints we have as naturally as possible so that we don't feel the need for pain meds. If we need relief from the inflammation while we are still in the healing process, There are many natural foods and nutrients that are highly effective at reducing inflammation. If you have questions about these options, be sure to ask at your next appointment.

More information: Risk of acute myocardial infarction with NSAIDs in real world use: bayesian meta-analysis of individual patient data, BMJ (2017). 

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Austin Kinesiology & Chiropractic


Dr. Jeremy T. Bryson

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