NSAID’s are inexpensive, we have easy access to them, and they do help pain go away. BUT, are they safe?
Answer: Even short term use may increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. Long-term use of prescription NSAIDs prompts well over 100,000 hospitalizations every year due to upper gastrointestinal adverse events. More than 16,500 of those patients die–every year!
One study found that NSAID use after age 60 may increase heart failure risk by 30 percent. And that risk rises sharply in the presence of other heart problems such as high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes.
Another potential side effect is stroke. Researchers out of Denmark (Gentofte University) followed prescription records for two “COX-2 selective” NSAIDs: Celebrex and Vioxx. Also followed: three “non-selective” NSAIDs: naproxen (Aleve), diclofenac (Cataflam), and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).
When prescription data was analyzed alongside hospitalization and death registry data, ibuprofen was linked with a 30 percent increased risk of stroke. Ibuprofen, used for a limited time by healthy people appears to significantly increase stroke risk.
Diclofenac may sharply increase stroke risk (more than 85 percent!), but that Aleve did not appear to increase stroke risk much at all. In all five medications, higher doses produced increased stroke risk.
Now you decide – what’s better, the natural anti-inflammtories I prescribes to you or these over the counter meds?