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An article in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that aspirin helps prevent heart attacks, but taking the arthritis medicine, ibuprofen, a few hours before taking aspirin blocks this benefit and prevents aspirin from preventing heart attacks. Iburpofen is sold under the brand names Advil and Motrin.

The last event in getting a heart attack is a clot that blocks the flow of blood to the heart muscle. Aspirin prevents heart attacks by preventing clotting caused by enzymes called cyclooxygenase-1. Ibuprofen clogs up cyclooxygenase-1, so aspirin can't get there to block it and prevent clotting. Since ibuprofen blocks aspirin effects only for up to two hours, heart patients can probably take Ibuprofen after aspirin, as long as they wait more than two hours. If you are not at high risk for a heart attack or formng clots, you probably should not be taking aspirin anyway.

NEJM December 20 2001

May 21st, 2013
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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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