A new study states that even if you take over-the-counter doses of painkillers that are known as NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), your chances of getting a heart attack increase are higher.
The heart attack likelihood is going to increase by about 20-50 percent on an average as compared to someone who is not taking these drugs no matter what the dosage of the medication or the amount of time they are taken.
These findings are just observational and based on an association. It is not proven yet that the drugs are the direct cause of the heart attacks.
The drugs that are mentioned here are naproxen, celecoxib, diclofenac, and ibuprofen, which are clearly available in the drug store and are used for relieving fever or pain that comes due to a lot of reasons like menstrual cramps, back pain, headaches, flu etc. The range of uses that these drugs have also means that these drugs are generally needed for some short periods of time.
The increase in risk level was seen as early as about one week of usage of any drug in the above mentioned category in any kind of dosage. It was also seen that the risk due to taking higher dosage was the highest within the first month of taking the drug.
The overall findings of the researchers was that any dosage of the drugs for about a week/a month or maybe even longer was linked to increased heart attack risk. The risk of a heart attack started to decline as soon as the painkiller dosage was stopped. There was a slight decline from one to about 30 days after the use of the painkiller and there was a greater decline (about 11%) drop after 30 days till one year after usage.
This paper was published on Tuesday and the team weighed the potential benefits and harms of the drugs before relying on them as the treatment option.