American Heart Association Warns of the Risks of NSAID Use

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risks of NSAID use

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Motrin (Ibuprofen), Celebrex (Celecoxib), Voltaren (Dicofenac), Lodine (Etodolac), Feldene (Piroxicam), DayPro (Oxaprozin), Clinoril (Sulindac), and Alleve (Naproxen Sodium) are dangerous drugs and everyone needs to know and understand the risks of NSAID use. I can’t get over the number of patients who still come into my office on these drugs and who have never been told by any health practitioner that the anti-inflammatory drugs they have been prescribed carry a cardiac risk. I’ve blogged extensively in the past on studies that show that they raise your heart attack for 5 years after stoppingdramatically increase sudden death heart attack risk, and dramatically increase the risk of death due to a gastric ulcer. Now the AHA has jumped into the fray, apparently also concerned that patients aren’t getting the message of the risks of NSAID use. They have joined a public health coalition called “The Alliance for Rational Use of NSAIDs” The alliance also points out some very sobering statistics:

“NSAIDs are one of the most commonly used medications in the United States for pain relief and reduction of fever and inflammation – more than 23 million people use them on a daily basis. Although generally safe when used properly, when used improperly, NSAIDs can cause severe adverse events affecting the digestive system, kidneys and heart. The new study shows that NSAID usage poses an even higher risk to heart attack patients than previously thought. Researchers found that heart attack survivors who used NSAIDs faced a 59 percent higher risk of death from any cause one year after their heart attack, and a 63 percent higher risk five years after. Additionally, survivors faced a 30 percent increased risk of having another heart attack or dying from coronary artery disease after one year and a 41 percent increased risk after five years.

The Regnexx team shares the concern of the AHA. From my clinical experience, NSAIDs are still as commonly consumed as Star Buck’s Lattes. There are many supplement alternatives to these dangerous drugs that seem to be effective like high dose fish oil, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate. In addition, why mask your pain at all? Why not try to understand why it’s there in the first place? The upshot? If you’ve never been told that the anti-inflammatory drug that you buy in the grocery store or that has been prescribed is likely dramatically increasing your risk of dropping dead, here’s your warning. Even the traditional medical establishment is trying hard to make sure you understand the risks!

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Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications. View Profile

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