Certain painkillers may boost heart attack risk: study

June 3, 2013

Oxford, England – Taking high doses of ibuprofen or similar painkillers may increase the risk of heart attack, according to a study from the University of Oxford.

Researchers analyzed 639 randomized trials of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and found that a daily dose of 2,400 milligrams of ibuprofen or 150 milligrams of diclofenac increased the risk of heart attack, stroke or death by one-third, the study abstract states.

Taking NSAIDs also was associated with double the risk of heart failure and a higher chance of gastrointestinal complications such as ulcers.

Researchers noted that the risk was higher among people with underlying risk factors, such as elevated blood pressure or cholesterol, and suggested doctors account for these risk factors before prescribing NSAIDs.

The study was published online May 30 in the journal The Lancet.