Over-the-counter painkillers could increase the risk of heart attacks, a new study finds. Painkillers like ibuprofen, which are commonly used for pain relief and available without a prescription, may increase the threat of heart trouble. The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could lead to the development of blood clots, higher blood pressure, stroke, and heart illnesses and/or failure. When researchers studied the relationship between NSAID use and heart disease, it was found that out of nearly 30,000 patients diagnosed with heart attacks, almost 3,500 were discovered to be regularly using NSAIDs at least a month before the attack. Any kind of NSAID use contributed to about 30 percent of increased heart attack risk, but ibuprofen contributed about 50 percent of an increase for heart attacks.
When people purchase over-the-counter medications at a pharmacy or retail store, they feel confident that the medicine is safe to use. That false sense of security could dismiss any warnings that the medicine may indeed pose a health hazard whether they use or exceed the recommended dosage.
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