Credit: © Ezume Images / Fotolia

Credit: © Ezume Images / Fotolia

Can ibuprofen stop your heart?

Painkillers are more dangerous than you think. While ibuprofen is widely prescribed, there may be hidden dangers. Can ibuprofen stop your heart?

According to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a major cause of death amongst adults 40 and older in the U.S. and worldwide. Over 300,000 have SCA every year in the U.S. alone.

Scientists are still somewhat unsure of the actual cause of SCA, but what if common painkillers were responsible for some cases.

In a new study from the European Society of Cardiology, researchers say that painkillers traditionally considered safe are actually associated with a greater risk of cardiac arrest.

Professor Gunnar H. Gisalson, a lead researcher explained:

“Allowing these drugs to be purchased without a prescription, and without any advice or restrictions, sends a message to the public that they must be safe.”

“Previous studies have shown that NSAIDs are related to increased cardiovascular risk which is a concern because they are widely used.”

The study researchers looked at a group of almost 30,000 participants who experienced SCA in Denmark within the last 10 years.

About 3,000 of them were treated with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like ibuprofen.

The researchers found that NSAID was linked to a 31 percent risk of cardiac arrest.

Gunnar explained the findings:

“The findings are a stark reminder that NSAIDs are not harmless. Diclofenac and ibuprofen, both commonly used drugs, were associated with significantly increased risk of cardiac arrest. NSAIDs should be used with caution and for a valid indication. They should probably be avoided in patients with cardiovascular disease or many cardiovascular risk factors.”

The study was published in the European Heart Journal Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy.

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1. “Ibuprofen Can Stop Your Heart (31% Increase In Cardiac Arrest Risk).”, 02 July 2015. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.
2. “Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug Use Is Associated with Increased Risk of Out-of-hospital Cardiac Arrest: A Nationwide Case–time–control Study.” European Heart Journal – Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy. Oxford University Press, 24 Dec. 2016. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

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