Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs are non-aspirin pain relievers that include over-the-counter Advil (Ibuprofen), Aleve (Naprosyn), and a host of prescriptions medications like Celebrex, Voltaren (Diclofenac), and long list of additional medications in this class. Aspirin, although technically in this grouping, is excluded, as is Tylenol (Acetominophen). The entire list is >>>>HERE<<<<
Ever since the early 2000’s, when Vioxx was removed from the US due to a connection with increased heart attack risk, the entire group of these NSAID medications has come under scrutiny for the risks they may pose for the heart and blood vessels. Many studies have been done, primarily looking at large data sets in retrospect, and they have concluded the following, which are the important ‘take home’ points:
1. NSAID medications do statistically increase the risk of heart attack when used regularly, even for a short time (a week or more)
2. Some NSAID medications appear to pose lower risk (Aleve/Naprosyn….lowest risk). Celebrex and Diclofenac appear to be higher risk in this group.
3. NSAID medications should only be used if they provide significant clinical benefit, and should not be taken routinely if they are of questionable value.
4. Combining NSAID medications with aspirin will reduce the heart risks involved, but does lead to an increase in stomach ulcers. Prevention strategies with PPI medications (Prilosec and similar) is worth considering if this combination is used.