Ibuprofen Use May Lead to Stroke

NSAIDs' risks backed by new study

Image courtesy of pagingdrgupta.blogs.cnn.com.

Do you really need that ibuprofen? Supporting previous research, a new, more sophisticated study published in the British Journal of Medicine found that people taking prescription-strength nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) were at significant risk of cardiovascular events, including stroke.

Of the drugs studied, they found that ibuprofen (sold as Advil and others) carries the highest risk of stroke, etoricoxib (Arcoxia outside the United States; not sold in the U.S.) has the highest risk of cardiovascular death, and rofecoxib (previously sold as Vioxx in the United States, but it has since been withdrawn) carries the highest risk of heart attack.

For certain drugs such as celecoxib (sold as Pfizer’s Celebrex), the cardiovascular risk appears to go up with dosage.

The NSAID that, at least for now, appears the most safe: naproxen, the key ingredient in Aleve.