Ibuprofen is an over-the-counter painkiller used to treat a whole host of ailments. People use the drug to treat everything from headaches and arthritis pain to menstrual cramps, but new research has advised the public to be cautious when using these pain relievers as they may not be as safe as first imagined.
Doctors have been aware for years that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including ibuprofen, may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, but a new study has claimed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could pose a risk earlier than thought.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have previously warned that ibuprofen can cause heart attacks and in some instances, strokes but, new research claims even short-term use could have a negative effect on health and increase your chances of developing problems in the future.
How long you use the drug and the dosage were two factors, FDA research found, that increased the risk and the longer you used it the more exposed you were to future heart-related problems.
Using ibuprofen long term, the FDA claimed, increases the risks associated with it and this only grows when you are older. For those over the age of 40, when there are greater risks of developing heart disease, ibuprofen can be especially dangerous.
Even those without pre-existing conditions or of an older age can also be at risk from the drug as it may increase the chance of developing issues in later life.
The British Heart Foundation studied the health records of 8 million people, with an average age of 77, and found those who had NSAIDs within the last two weeks, were 19 percent more likely to be admitted to hospital for heart failure.
While this might be a worrying statistic, the BHF insisted that there were certain factors such as age and pre-existing heart conditions, that meant the findings were not accurate for everyone.
The study found that those under-65 without pre-existing heart problems were unlikely to be affected and so shouldn’t be too concerned.
But it did claim that NSAIDS, like ibuprofen, could increase heart problems. It found the drug caused kidneys to retain more salt and water, increasing the chance of heart failure as well as making blood-pressure-lowering medicines less effective and causing a rise in blood pressure.