Should You Find a Motrin Alternative? Over the Counter NSAID Risks and Statins…

By Chris Centeno, MD /

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Should you look for a Motrin alternative? You might be surprised that you can walk into a grocery store today and pick up a drug that has a 1 in 1,200 chance of killing you if you take it for more than 60 days. You also might be surprised that this same drug causes 4 heart attacks (one fatal) for every 1,000 people who take it. Which drug class am I talking about? Over the counter NSAIDs like Motrin, Alleve, Advil, Ibuprofen, etc… A UK professor is speaking out about these risks and urging patients to find alternatives to the likes of Motrin, Advil, and Alleve. More surprising is that the heart risks from taking the popular anti-inflammatories also outweigh any positive heart effects you would have by taking popular Statin drugs (they would prevent only about 3 heart attacks a year in 1,000 people). This has caused the American Heart Association to join the clarion call to get rid of or restrict the public’s use of these side effect laden NSAID drugs. If these over the counter NSAIDs are so dangerous, what can you do if they work to help your arthritis pain? First, not all NSAIDs carry the same risk profile. Of the OTC brands, Alleve is actually much less risky from a heart standpoint than Motrin and Advil. It has about half the all cause death risk of Motrin and Advil (although it still raises your risk from stroke 176% to Motrin/Advil’s 336%). Second, we’ve found that many patients can ditch these dangerous drugs for much safer high dose fish oil. When I mean high dose, if you’re buying fish oil caps at Costco or the grocery store for under $20 a bottle, this doesn’t count. You need EPA/DHA concentrated fish oil concerted back to it’s natural tricglyceride form. The upshot? Many noted university types, physicians  and professional organizations are on a mission to let the public know about the dangerous OTC drugs in their local grocery store. The message isn’t really getting out there though, as it’s rare that I meet a new patient who isn’t shocked that the NSAID they’re taking is more than doubling to tripling their chance of dropping dead or having a stroke.

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Chris Centeno, MD

Regenexx Founder

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.
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Regenerative procedures are commonly used to treat musculoskelatal trauma, overuse injuries, and degenerative issues, including failed surgeries.
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