Monday, August 23, 2010

Painkiller: Stroke Risk?

Coated 200 mg ibuprofen tablets, CareOne brand...Image via WikipediaResearchers found that among nearly 38,000 Taiwanese adults who suffered a stroke over one year, the use of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) in the prior month may have elevated their stroke risk.

The increases linked to individual NSAIDs were generally modest, the investigators report in the medical journal Stroke. And the findings do not prove that the medications themselves led to some people's strokes.
NSAIDs are a group of painkillers that include over-the-counter medications like aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin and other brands) and naproxen (Aleve), as well as prescription arthritis drugs known as COX-2 inhibitors.

The COX-2 inhibitors were first linked to an increased risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular problems, and two of the drugs -- rofecoxib (Vioxx) and valdecoxib (Bextra) -- were pulled from the market in 2004 and 2005, respectively; a third COX-2 inhibitor, celecoxib (Celebrex) remains on the market.
But subsequent studies also raised concerns about the possible heart risks of some of the older, over-the-counter NSAIDs, including ibuprofen and diclofenac (Voltaren).

These latest findings suggest that the "concern may also extend to the risk of stroke,"

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