NZ Herald: Popular painkillers ‘lift stroke, heart risk’

Martin Johnston writes in the New Zealand Herald about a new study which suggests that the long-term use of popular painkillers, including NSAIDs like ibuprofen and diclofenac, increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

It found that ibuprofen use was associated with three times’ higher risk for stroke than placebos (the highest risk), with diclofenac use having the next highest risk; arcoxia use had the highest risk (four times higher than placebo) of death from cardiovascular disease, followed by diclofenac.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“However, the researchers noted that although their analysis covered more than 100,000 patient-years of follow-up, “The number of events for most outcomes was low and our estimates of rate ratios imprecise …”

Government drugs regulator Medsafe said yesterday the Swiss study confirmed the risks of NSAIDs.

“As with all painkillers, Medsafe advises using the lowest effective dose for the shortest time possible. Patients are advised to discuss any concerns they may have with their doctor,” said senior pharmacovigilance adviser, Dr Susan Kenyon.”