Most people, when they have a headache or muscle pain, immediately reach for ibuprofen. However, this might just be one of the biggest mistakes of your life. A study has revealed that this popular over-the-counter medication may not be as harmless as many believe it to be. Serious illnesses like a heart attack or a stroke are what result awaits you on this pill. Read on to learn more as to why taking Ibuprofen might be a health risk.
The FDA Warning
In 2005 the FDA issued a warning that ibuprofen increased the risk of those taking it with heart attacks and strokes. Recently, the FDA strengthened that warning with the following statements.
- The risk of a heart attack and/or stroke increase significantly, even with short-term use of ibuprofen.
- The health risks increase the longer you continue to take the medication.
- While you don’t need to have a heart issue to be at risk if you have such a condition your chances of a heart attack increase significantly.
Study by the British Medical Journal
This information is the result of a study of over 7 million patients and was published in the British Medical Journal. The study found that users who took any kind of NSAID (non-aspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) within 14 days before the study began, were 19% more likely to be admitted to a hospital for heart failure.
It also stated that the effect of the heart failure depended on the dosage as well as the type of the NSAID used. According to the findings, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen can increase the risk of heart failure by up to 20%. The results of the research stated that out of the 7 million people who had been prescribed the NSAID, as many as 92,163 had been admitted to the hospital for heart failure.
Be Extra Careful If You Are Over 40
Your risk of heart disease increases dramatically after the age of 40, couple this risk with ibuprofen and your chances of a stroke or heart attack skyrocket. It should be noted that those who took part in the study and had been admitted to hospital were older than most of the participants, with an average age of 77.
Just Because It’s Over-The-Counter Doesn’t Mean It’s Safe
People often assume that if you don’t need a prescription for a medication, it poses little to no risk. Be careful, this doesn’t mean that you can just pop a tablet whenever you feel you need to. For example, Acetaminophen, another over-the-counter drug found in popular cold medicines and painkillers, and many household medicine cabinets, has been linked to acute liver failure when overused or used acutely over the long term.
So, if you are one of the many who pops an ibuprofen into your mouth at the first signs of a headache or muscle pain, perhaps the evidence of the new study and the FDA warning will change your mind and help you protect your heart in the long run. Great natural alternatives to ibuprofen include ginger, turmeric, capsaicin, magnesium, valerian root, and cats claw.