Maybe that old twinge in your back has popped up again. Or perhaps you have a migraine that’s threatening to split your head in two. So, you reach for the bottle of Celebrex or Advil, just looking for a little pain relief.
Unfortunately, according to the findings of a new study, if you’ve suffered from a prior heart attack, along with that relief may come a staggering jump in your risk of suffering another attack…or even of dying.
Danish researchers looked at the risk associated with the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in adults who had already suffered from a heart attack between 1997 and 2006.
What they found was…frankly…pretty shocking.
The study, published in the journal Circulation, concluded that the use of NSAIDs by those who have had a heart attack is associated with an overall 45% higher risk of death or of yet another heart attack within a week of using the drugs. With three months of regular use, that risk shoots up to 55%!
And do you want to know the maddening part, the part that literally made me pound on my desk in frustration when I read it? Brace yourself.
Despite warnings extending back to at least 2007 regarding the use of NSAIDs for anyone who has heart disease, doctors are apparently still handing out prescriptions for them as if they were lollipops with every office visit.
In fact, a full 42% of the 83,675 heart-attack survivors that the Danish researchers looked at had been prescribed at least one NSAID!
Yes, you read that right. More than 35,000 patients were handed a piece of paper that could very well be a death warrant. We’re entering negligence territory here.
Now, to be fair, it’s possible that some of those NSAID prescriptions were written before the patient had been diagnosed with heart disease. But even in those cases it still wouldn’t explain why so many years later they were STILL being issued refills on those dangerous drugs.
If you’ve had a heart attack, do yourself a favor and wean yourself off of NSAIDs as quickly as possible. Doing so may very well save your life.
And if you’re on the NSAID diclofenac (brand names: Voltaren, Cataflam, and Voltaren-XR), cold turkey might be the best approach to take…since users are three times more likely to die or have another heart attack within a week of use.
For pain relief there are a number of natural options you can try, including ginger, capsaicin, devil’s claw, fennel, magnesium (orally or as an Epsom salt soak for aches and pains), vitamin D, and cowfoot leaf. Or give progressive relaxation or meditation techniques a try.
To find an integrative physician in your area who can help you design a personalized, safe, pain-relief program, contact the International College of Integrative Medicine.
Remember that while it’s true that every man dies we certainly don’t have to make it a race to the finish line
“Duration of Treatment With Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs and Impact on Risk of Death and Recurrent Myocardial Infarction in Patients With Prior Myocardial Infarction: A Nationwide Cohort Study.” Circulation, May 9, 2011
An enthusiastic believer in the power of natural healing, Alice has spent virtually her entire 17-year career in the natural-health publishing field helping to spread the word.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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