Thursday, September 30, 2010

More on the adverse cardiovascular effects of NSAIDs, old and new

And this time, according to a study presented at the recent European Society of Cardiology (ESC) 2010 Congress, the increased risk was for stroke. From the Medscape report:

Short-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) was associated with an increased risk of stroke in a Danish population study including only healthy individuals.

Again, it bears emphasis that these were healthy individuals using the drugs short term! In recent years doctors have become wary of giving NSAIDs to individuals with cardiovascular disease but most docs wouldn't think twice about short term use in healthy folks. That's what's new in this study. The fact that they lead to excess strokes as well as heart attacks should surprise no one.

It was also again noted that the risk extended throughout all NSAIDs. The old ones were as bad as the COX 2s although, as in other studies, Naproxen tended to be safer than some of the others.

Given how often NSAIDs are prescribed and the frequency of over the counter use this may be one of the largest adverse effects in modern medicine.

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