Common over-the-counter pain relievers, like ibuprofen, may raise your risk of having a heart attack. That's the finding in a new report in the respected medical journal The Lancet. The review boiled down hundreds of earlier studies that followed more than 350,000 patients. It found that people taking four 200 milligram ibuprofen pills three times a day for a year, a common dosage for arthritis patients, increased their risk of heart attack significantly.
Mayo Clinic cardiovascular specialist Stephen Kopecky, M.D., says it's something doctors have known about for years. Similar concerns lead to the banning of certain brand name Cox-2 inhibitor pain medications in 2004. However, Dr. Kopecky (ko PET skee) says the lack of lawsuits against generic drug manufacturers has allowed over-the-counter pain relievers to avoid the same scrutiny.
Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Kopecky are available in the downloads.