Entries in NSAID (3)


High Doses of NSAIDs Raise Risk of Heart Failure

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- New research shows that high doses of common pain relievers may increase your risk for cardiovascular issues.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs -- known as NSAIDs -- are among the most common pain-relief medicines in the world, including aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen. Millions of Americans take those drugs or the number of prescription painkillers classified as NSAIDs every day, but new research shows that use of NSAIDs can increase your risk of heart failure, perhaps even double it.

The study, published in The Lancet, analyzed studies including over 353,000 people and found that all of the NSAIDs together roughly doubled the risk of heart failure. The risk was highest among people who already had underlying risk factors for heart disease.

The researchers did point out that the overall risk is relatively small and that the true danger of NSAIDs is only seen in high doses. Anyone who frequently uses high doses of these pain killers is urged to speak to a doctor.

Aspirin, interestingly, works to prevent the formation of blood clots, which can cause heart attacks. Other NSAIDs do not work to prevent blood clots.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Common Painkillers May Protect Against Skin Cancer

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Drugs that are famous for fighting pain may also protect against skin cancer, a new study found.

The Danish study of nearly 200,000 men and women found that those who took nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers such as aspirin and ibuprofen were less likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma or malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

"Given the high skin cancer incidence and the widespread and frequent use of NSAIDs, a preventive effect of these agents may have important public health implications," the authors wrote in their study, which was published Tuesday in the journal Cancer.

The researchers used medical records from Denmark's government-funded health care system to probe NSAID use among 18,500 people with skin cancer and 178,655 without.  They found those who used NSAIDs were 15 percent less likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma, and 13 percent less likely to develop malignant melanoma than nonusers.

"The risk reduction was greatest among long-term and high-intensity users, suggesting a cumulative and dose-dependent, protective effect," the authors wrote.

The risk of basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer linked to sun exposure, was no different among NSAID users and nonusers.

The findings add to mounting evidence that common painkillers may help thwart cancer.  A March 2012 study found people who took daily aspirin for at least three years were 36 percent less likely to develop metastatic cancer and 15 percent less likely to die from cancer.

"The mechanism of action is not totally clear, but it's thought to be due to their anti-inflammatory effects," said Dr. Josh Zeichner, assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, adding that inflammatory enzymes help feed tumor growth.

An NSAID cream is already approved for precancers of the skin caused by sun exposure.  But Zeichner said it's too soon to recommend drugs like Aspirin, Advil and Aleve for skin cancer prevention.

"This study is exciting, but we need more studies to continue to evaluate this as a possible treatment," said Zeichner, adding that chronic NSAID use can cause ulcers.  "Right now the best way to prevent skin cancer is to use sunscreen, wear protective clothing and avoid of the sun between peak hours."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Use of NSAIDs May Be Linked to Men's Sexual Performance

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- A new study indicates that regular use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could be associated with greater chance of erectile dysfunction.

Common over-the-counter NSAIDs include acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin), ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve).

In the cross-sectional study in a large health care system, the rate of erectile dysfunction was 35.2 percent among middle-aged men who regularly took NSAIDs compared to only 24 percent among those who did not, reported Dr. Steven Jacobsen, director of research at Kaiser Permanente Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues.

After adjusting for other factors which included age, ethnicity and body mass index, study authors say the difference in percentages worked out to a 1.22-fold greater probability of erectile dysfunction for NSAID users, according to the study published online in the journal Urology.

"While this raises the question of the role of inflammation and COX pathways in erectile dysfunction etiology, we cannot exclude alternative explanations," the researchers wrote.

Jacobsen told MedPage Today that if the association is indeed true, then it may be time to discuss the risks and benefits of using NSAIDs, whether for prevention or for treatment of various ailments.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

ABC News Radio