NSAID Use May Up Bleeding Risk In Patients Who Have Suffered A Heart Attack
Certain painkillers may help to temporarily prevent discomfort following an injury or health issue. However, medications like ibuprofen and Celebrex may also increase the risk for heart attack, stroke and/or serious bleeding for heart attack survivors who are also taking prescription blood thinners, according to recent findings published in JAMA.
"For all sorts of reasons, many of us have been concerned about NSAIDs in a heart attack context for a long time," said Dr. Charles Campbell, chief of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Tennessee Erlanger Health Systems in Chattanooga, via Health Day. "For example, we know NSAIDs have an adverse effect on the kidney. And we have long worried that what this study has found was going to be the case."
Lead study author Dr. Anne-Marie Schjernig Olsen of Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark examined NSAID use among roughly 62,000 Danish patients who survived a first heart attack between 2002 and 2011. All were between the ages of 30 and up and more than six in 10 were men.
Danish national hospital records also revealed that all were on some form of anti-clotting treatment following their heart attack, such as aspirin or clopidogrel.
3.5 years following the study, about 30 percent of the participants were hospitalized as a result of another heart attack, stroke or similar cardiac event and another 10 percent suffered head bleeding, or bleeding in the respiratory tract, urinary tract or gastrointestinal tract. Thirty percent even died.
"I would absolutely minimize your NSAID use if you're a patient in this category," Campbell concluded.
Many nonsteroidal, over-the-counter painkillers are used to aid muscle discomfort or arthritis in the United States and other countries. However, the American Heart Association has recommended that patients with cardiovascular disease avoid the use of NSAIDs since 2007.