Side effects of Advil, Motrin or Cataflam could increase your chances of suffering heart problems or death, according to the findings of new research.
In a study published by the medical journal The Lancet on May 29, researchers found that individuals who took high doses of some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) had a 33% greater risk of suffering a heart attack, stroke or early death.
NSAIDs are commonly taken to decrease inflammation and used as painkillers. They are among the most commonly used medications in the United States.
Researchers from Oxford University reviewed nearly 650 studies involving more than 350,000 participants. The findings indicated that people who took 2,400 milligrams of ibuprofen or 150 milligrams of diclofenac daily may face an increased risk of heart attack. Both dosage amounts of the ibuprofen and diclofenac are common daily amounts of painkillers for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
Ibuprofen is the active ingredient in Advil and Motrin, and diclofenac is the active ingredient in Cataflam, Voltaren, Flector, Solaraze, Pennsaid, Zipsor, and Cambia.
The study revealed three of every 1,000 people taking high doses of NSAIDs, like Advil and Cataflam, suffered a heart attack over the course of one year. One of the three heart attacks resulted in death.
Aleve (naproxen) offered a lowered risk of heart attack than other pain killers but people taking Aleve had a two to four times greater risk of suffering from bleeding ulcers or other significant gastrointestinal problems.
Colin Baigent and his team of researchers found people who had a prior history of heart disease or other cardiac risk factors, such as high blood pressure or cholesterol, had the highest risk of suffering a cardiac event after taking the high doses of NSAIDs.
The researchers concluded that the data could be used to help predict the risk associated with NSAID side effects.
Growing Evidence for Cataflam, Voltaren Heart Problems
This is the second study this year to link Cataflam and Voltaren to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
In February, a study published in PLoS Medicine, ranked Cataflam and Voltaren highest for heart risk compared to nonuse of an NSAID. Diclofenac’s market share is equal to medications like ibuprofen, naproxen and mefanamic acid combined, the three next most popular NSAIDs.
The study went on to indicate diclofenac is one-third of the total NSAID usage across 15 countries and compared Cataflam and Voltaren to Vioxx. A Vioxx recall was initiated in 2004, after just two years on the market, due to its high cardiovascular toxicity.
Aspirin was not included in the latest study, since it is widely known to protect against heart attack and is often prescribed to prevent it.