BMJ study on risk of heart attack and NSAIDS - RPS responds

RPS comments on today's BMJ study on risk of heart attack when using NSAIDs

Responding to the study published in the BMJ today on the risk of heart attack and non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs, RPS spokesperson on cardiovascular medicine, Consultant Pharmacist Sotiris Antoniou said:

"For many, NSAIDs continue to provide safe and effective pain relief, but we now know that all non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have the potential to increase the risk of having a heart attack. This recent paper suggests that the larger the dose and the longer the duration is associated with greater risk of harm.

“If you are using ibuprofen regularly, for example every day, you should really talk to a health professional such as your pharmacist who can try to help with the causes of your pain, suggest alternatives, including paracetamol and exercise where appropriate, and ensure your health is regularly monitored.

“However, if you just take ibuprofen for occasional aches and pains, you don’t need to be concerned and can go on taking them when you experience pain due to inflammation.  Painkillers are an everyday part of many people’s lives and all drugs have both benefits and potential harms. You could try using paracetamol for simple headaches, when you have pain not connected to inflammation.

“If you have any doubts or questions do seek advice from a pharmacist or doctor.  It’s a good rule of thumb with any painkiller to take the lowest dose that’s effective for the shortest possible time.”