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New Warning on NSAIDs

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been associated with increased risk for heart attacks. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration now requires NSAIDs to have labels stating that they increase risk for heart attacks or strokes (FDA Consumer Updates, July 9, 2015). The longer you take them, the greater the risk. Do not take two or more NSAIDs together as that increases risk. NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve) and many of the combination pain drugs for the temporary relief of pain and fever, such as muscle, joint, tooth, head or menstrual pain. The warning does not apply to aspirin.

People who have heart attack risk factors are the ones at highest risk for heart attacks when taking NSAIDs. Risk factors include:
• high blood pressure
• diabetes
• high cholesterol or triglycerides
• a fat belly
• overweight
• not exercising
• not eating lots of fruits and vegetables
• eating too much red meat
NSAIDs can block the protective benefits of aspirin in people who take aspirin to prevent heart attacks.

Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the signs of a heart attack or stroke, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, sudden weakness in one part of your body, or sudden slurred speech. Do NOT take NSAIDs if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

Checked 10/22/16

July 19th, 2015
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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