How dangerous are NSAIDS?
Headlines in the media (June 11, 2005) state "Study: NSAIDS may up heart attack risk". The reason for these headlines - a new report in the British Journal of Medicine (11 June, 2005) titled "Differences in outcome of patients with congestive heart failure prescribed celecoxib, rofecoxib, or NSAIDS: population based study".
So should people avoid taking Ibuprofen, Aleve™, or similar medications? Here are some quick answers:
Our conclusion - if you need to take NSAIDs, there is no reason to be worried about their risk. If there is a slightly higher risk, it is certainly minimal.
- First and foremost, this is not a study involving the population at large. The conclusions pertain specifically to patients hospitalized with congestive heart failure!
- The study compares the relative risk of NSAIDS (e.g., Ibuprofen, Aleve™) and rofecoxib (vioxx™), compared to celecoxib (celebrex™).
- The margin of error is such, that one cannot draw any definite conclusion with respect to the risk of NSAIDs compared to celecoxib.
- The study finds that rofecoxib does carry a slightly higher risk (between 1.09 and 1.49) relative to celecoxib. This is already well known, and one of the reasons that vioxx™ was withdrawn from the market.
- This type of study is not as reliable as studies in which a placebo is used.
Last Modification - June 12, 2005