A new study of heart disease patients indicates a link between chronic use of painkillers like ibuprofen and naproxen and deadly heart attacks.
Conducted by the University of Florida in Gainesville, the study looked at 22,576 adults with both coronary artery disease and high blood pressure. Researchers determined that heart disease patients who said they chronically used NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) were 66 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack over three years.
NSAIDs include over-the-counter pain meds like Advil, Motrin, and Aleve, as well as prescription arthritis drugs, known as Cox-2 inhibitors, like Celebrex.
Lead researcher Dr. Anthony A. Bavry told Reuters that the study doesn’t conclusively link these painkillers to increased cardiovascular risk, saying, “A limitation is that we did not have information on rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, which may be the reasons a lot of these patients were taking NSAIDs.”
That’s because–on their own–chronic inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis are proven to create increased risk for heart problems.
Those who suffer coronary artery disease should talk to their doctors about how best to manage pain, says Bavry.
Bavry’s study was published in the American Journal of Medicine.
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Despite low-quality testing, drugs designed to treat rare cancers—called orphan drugs—are increasingly being made available to patients. On Monday a Florida researcher told Reuters that there are concerns about the safety and efficacy of these drugs because they can come with a high number of serious side effects.
“The scientific validity of these types of studies is very, very limited,” Dr. Thomas J. George, a cancer researcher at the University of Florida, told Reuters Health. “You know less about the safety of the medicine and its quality.”
In a new study researchers looked at evidence evaluated by the FDA from 2004 to 2010 when considering the effectiveness of new cancer medications. The study found that when evaluating orphan drugs—defined as medications which treat diseases affecting fewer than 200,000 Americans—the FDA used a significantly smaller number of people in its studies. Orphan drug trials included 96 patients whereas 290 patients were evaluated in non-orphan drug trials.
“I do think that these studies are a valuable way to provide medication that otherwise wouldn’t be available to patients,” said George. “In the short term it’s a win-win for everybody, but in the long run we have to do due diligence to make sure the drugs are safe.”
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The Florida injury lawyers at Steinger, Iscoe & Greene may be able to help.
There has been an urgent nationwide recall of heparin units manufactured by Baxter Healthcare Corporation. The recall is the result of an increased number of adverse reactions to the drug, some of which may be life-threatening. This recall is different and apparently unrelated to the heparin recall reported earlier in the week.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), reactions to the most recently-recalled heparin doses include stomach pain or discomfort, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased or low blood pressure, chest pain, fast heart rate, dizziness, fainting, and a host of other dangerous drug injury symptoms.
The recalled heparin could cause serious Florida drug injury and even death.