Pain relievers (NSAIDs) increase the risk of heart attack and stroke

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), drugs commonly used to treat pain and inflammation, may increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.

NSAIDs are available over the counter or by prescription and include ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen sodium (Aleve), diclofenac sodium (Voltaren), and celecoxib (Celebrex). Although aspirin is a type of NSAID, it does not appear to be associated with an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

It is important to take only the dose needed for the shortest time possible to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. Taking NSAIDs occasionally or for a short time, for example to relieve pain from an injury, is usually low risk.

NSAIDs and heart disease : the risk of heart attack and stroke increases

If you take NSAIDs and have cardiovascular disease or are at high risk, you may have a higher risk high heart attack or stroke than someone who takes NSAIDs but does not have cardiovascular disease. But even people without cardiovascular disease who take NSAIDs may have an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

NSAIDs: Take the lowest dose, for less time.

If you need to take an NSAID, take the lowest possible dose for the shortest possible time. But be aware that serious side effects can occur in the first few weeks of using an NSAID, and the risk may increase the longer you take an NSAID. Taking NSAIDs in higher doses may also increase your risk of heart attack or stroke.

If you need to take NSAIDs for a long time or suffer from cardiovascular disease, talk to your doctor. Your doctor can tell you which NSAIDs are right for you and recommend other medicines.

If you are taking an NSAID and notice signs or symptoms of a heart attack or ” a stroke, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness in any part or side of the body, or sudden slurred speech, see a doctor immediately.

Try other pain-relieving methods

To help relieve muscle or joint pain, consider trying other therapies, such as hot or cold compresses or physical therapy, before to take NSAIDs

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