Pain relieving drugs may contribute to stroke and death

Pain relieving drugs may contribute to stroke and death

Pain relieving drugs may contribute to stroke and death:

Common older drugs prescribed for arthritis and pain may increase risk of death from stroke, according to a study published in the November 5, 2014 issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The drugs that the research team studied, called COX-2 inhibitors, included older drugs diclofenac, etodolac, nabumeton and meloxicam, as well as newer drugs called coxibs, including celecoxib and rofecoxib.

The study also looked at common drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen.

While newer versions of these COX-2 inhibitors drugs have been pulled off shelves, older ones are still frequently prescribed,” said study author Morten Schmidt, MD, of Aarhus University Hospital in Aarhus, Denmark. “Our study provides further important evidence solidifying the risks of certain arthritic pain relievers and death from stroke.”

The researchers analyzed records of 100,243 people hospitalized with their first stroke from 2004-2012. The research team looked at whether these patients were current, former, or non-users of these drugs within two months of the stroke.

Overall, people who were current users of COX-2 inhibitors were 19 percent more likely to die of stroke than people who did not take the drugs. New users of the older COX-2 drugs were 42 percent more likely to die from stroke than those who were not taking the drugs. Those who took etodolac were 53 percent more likely to die after stroke.

The team found no link between NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen and death from stroke.

According to the National Stroke Association, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.

Our study supports stepping up efforts to make sure people with a higher risk of stroke are not prescribed these medications when other options are available,” said Schmidt.

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1. “More Evidence Arthritis/Pain Relieving Drugs May Contribute to Stroke Death.” American Academy of Neurology. American Academy of Neurology, n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.

2. “Preadmission Use of Nonaspirin Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs and 30-day Stroke Mortality.” Neurology. American Academy of Neurology, 5 Nov. 2014. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.

3. “What Is Stroke? National Stroke Association, n.d. Web. 09 Nov. 2014.

4. “Stroke Definition.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, n.d. Web. 08 Nov. 2014.

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