While it has been recently known that common painkillers increase people's risk of having a heart attack, a more recent study shows that such risk actually comes as early as within the first week of use!
Particularly, these drugs include ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), and prescription arthritis drugs known as COX-2 inhibitors (Celebrex) which are all nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDS. Aspirin, however, were not tested as it is believed to work slightly different from the other NSAIDS. Aside from such, a particular non-NSAID drugs called Vioxx was also tested.
Researchers pooled different studies focusing on NSAIDs and heart attacks. With these, they were able to cover 446,000 people using NSAIDs of which 385,000 didn't have any heart attacks. "By studying 61,460 myocardial infarction events in real-world use of NSAIDs, we found that current use of a NSAID is associated with a significantly increased risk of acute myocardial infarction," they wrote in their report, published in the British Medical Journal.
And as said, the risk alarmingly started just within a week.
The study, however, didn't show how much the increase of risk would be with further use. Moreover, they found that specifically ingesting more than 1,200 mg a day of ibuprofen and 750 mg a day of naproxen was dangerous. Vioxx was especially harmful too.
It is important to note, though, that this doesn't necessarily mean that we should stop taking these pills to treat headaches, lower fevers, and reduce aches and pains. Researchers said that those who have a particularly bigger-than-average heart attack risk are those who must keep an eye and avoid these, more so intaking high doses and using it long-term.
Stephen Evans of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine even said in a statement, "The two main issues here are that the risks are relatively small, and for most people who are not at high risk of a heart attack these findings have minimal implications.". That means occasional user has less to worry about.
The reason as to how these drugs may trigger heart attacks isn't explained in the study but this serves as a reminder to everyone to know more about their body and to check anything foreign that they chose to put in it.