Can Advil Increase the Risk of a Heart Attack?

Can Advil Increase the Risk of a Heart Attack?
0 31 May 2013

A patient of mine was recently put on high-dose ibuprofen to reduce progression of his osteoarthritis (OA), which in his case appears to be genetic in origin. His dose is 800mg three times per day. That’s pretty much the max dose and he was asked to be on that indefinitely since some research indicates that it can help in the outcome of his osteoarthritis.

Today, I was alerted to a study published in The Lancet that showed elevated cardiovascular events in patients taking common anti-inflammatory drugs such as Celebrex, diclofenac and ibuprofen. The study was a meta-analysis that looked at data from over 600 trials. Meta-analyses are good studies, but they do have their limits. While I wouldn’t hang my hat on them, they are helpful in gaining a better understanding.

The study found that for diclofenac (Cambia, Voltaren) and cox-inhibitors like Celebrex, the risk of a major vascular event and coronary event was about one-third higher. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) had double the risk of coronary events.

Naproxen (Aleve) did not have an increase in cardiovascular risk.

Of course, I let my patient know that he may want to switch to naproxen instead of ibuprofen based on this new study. Having said that, I have moved most people away from these medications in general (except for short term use surrounding injuries).

My basic recommendations to reduce inflammation include taking 6-8 grams of high quality fish oil, taking 400-600mg of turmeric daily (taking it with black pepper makes it about 8 times more effective as an anti-inflammatory), and a supplement called AlphaFlex.

When people still have inflammatory issues that are chronic, it’s also helpful to look at the diet. Many people have reactions to foods, spices and herbs that can cause an increase in inflammation. A test like the ALCAT can help determine if food allergies or intolerances are to blame.

Posted in Blog, Health and Wellness, Vitamins by admin

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