New study links common painkillers to increased risk of heart attack

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Researchers are learning more about the potential side effects of common pain relievers.

A new study conducted at the University of Montreal links common anti-inflammatory painkillers like Advil, Aleve and Motrin to an increased risk of heart attacks. Impacted drugs include ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac found in Voltaren, and celecoxib found in Celebrex.

The study revealed the likelihood of experiencing a heart attack increases by an average of 20 to 50 percent compared to someone not taking the drugs regardless of the dosage and the amount of time the drugs are taken.

There’s no proof the drugs directly cause heart attacks.

New York Assembly member and pharmacist John McDonald isn’t surprised by the study. He said people need to be more careful when taking medicine.

“The question is ‘why are you taking it?’” he said. “Are you taking it because you have a problem, or are you taking it because you feel you just need to take it?”

He also said it’s necessary to read package instructions.

“Do not think that taking more is better,” he said.

It also never hurts to check in with your doctor or pharmacist. Overall, McDonald said if you’re following his recommendations, you shouldn’t be worried about the study.

“I would not be, you know, just running in and emptying out the medicine cabinets and throw everything out,” he said.

The study found heart attack risk increases as early as one week into painkiller use and at any dose.

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