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Painkiller Medications May Harm

July 16, 2015
Plain English Version

PainkillersMillions of Americans take Aleve, Motrin and Celebrex to relieve pain. Experts now say they should be used sparingly.

Studies have now linked their use to heart attack and stroke. The danger to people is not as bad as smoking, untreated high blood pressure or obesity. But it is real.

Experts do not include aspirin in the list of painkillers that might endanger users.

The drugs are called Nsaids. It means nonaspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

A researcher said, “There are no completely safe pain relievers, period.”Even small amounts pose danger. All of these pills should only be taken for brief periods.

Scientists are suggesting that these drug makers should change their labels to reflect the risks.

Generally, a physician said:

·      Over-the-counter medications, which have the lowest dose may increase risk by about 10 percent.

·      Low-level dose prescription medications may increase risk by about 20 percent.

·      Higher-level dose prescription medications may increase risk by about 50 percent.

He also stated, “Probably people think these drugs are benign, and they are not. They are good for short-term relief. They are best for younger persons with no history of heart trouble. People over 65 with a history of heart disease should be very careful.”

Some questions remain. Is one drug safer than another? Is there a safe minimum dosage? Are some types of people in less danger?

A new study is intended to answer these questions. In the meantime, you should not use painkiller medications casually over long periods.

Source: The New York Times July 13, 2015

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