Taking these supposedly "safe" everyday drugs could be a ticket to disaster

Popular pain meds linked to deadly heart rhythm…again

Sometimes you just don’t know what to do or whom to trust. You’ve been told that it’s safe to take these drugs for pain — not just once in a while, but every day.

And a lot of them are OTC, which somehow makes them seem “safer.”

But now, here’s another study saying how dangerous they are.

But there are other ways to deal with chronic pain. Ways that won’t put your life in jeopardy.

And this warning isn’t just for those who have been popping these pills forever. Because when it comes to the common and widely used class of pain relievers called NSAIDs, it looks like even a short stint can be deadly.

A new study has linked these kinds of drugs to a dangerous type of heart rhythm. And this is not the first time researchers have made that connection.

The resulting death toll could be shocking, because the risks are so huge.

Millions take NSAIDs every day in both prescriptions and as OTCs. And they’re so common you probably haven’t even glanced at the stomach bleeding warning on the packages for a long time.

But there are other risks involved in using these drugs. Potentially deadly heart rhythm risks.

Researchers found that using NSAID pain relievers increases your risk of A-fib by a gigantic 84 percent!

And the scariest part is that risk can kick in during the first 30 days of use.

But don’t think if you’ve been on these drugs for a long time you’re home free. Those who use these pain pills regularly also increase their risk of A-fib by a whopping 76 percent.

This recent study, out of the Netherlands, looked at over 8 thousand people, none of whom had A-fib to begin with. And the Dutch researchers weren’t the only ones to find this deadly cause and effect.

A 2011 study out of Denmark also found NSAIDs users to have a “significantly increased risk” for A-fib. And again, the risk was higher for new users.

NSAID drugs include ibuprofen, in brands such as Advil, and Motrin, naproxen, found in Aleve, Naprosyn, and…aspirin. And aspirin is sold to us as a “heart healthy” treatment!

Also on the NSAID list are prescription drugs like Celebrex, Cataflam, Voltaren and Mobic.

The FDA has made some feeble attempts over the years at adding warnings to these drugs. But as The People’s Pharmacy said about the findings “for the most part the FDA, health professionals and even patients have ignored the risks.”

They also added that when someone dies from a heart attack or stroke “it is unlikely that anyone checks (for these drugs) or connects the tragedy with pain reliever use.”

So it’s unknown how many people may have died from, or are now on dangerous blood thinners for A-fib because of these meds.

To add to all the confusion about these pain relievers, this past January the FDA suddenly sent out a notice, one picked up on all the news reports, saying that Aleve is safer for your heart than the other NSAIDs. The FDA even announced it was considering changing the label of Aleve to say that.

But by February an FDA advisory panel voted down the idea, saying the drug may not be any safer after all.

And while they were at it, those panel experts proposed that instead of changing the label to say Aleve is safer, a new warning be added to all NSAID bottles. A warning saying that deadly heart attacks and strokes can happen within the first week of using the drugs.

“Any suggestion that those first two weeks come for free should be removed from the label,” said a Harvard doctor on that panel.

But where these drugs are concerned, nothing comes “free.” And the price paid for their use can be very high.

As I said there are other ways of handling pain. One that has been used medically for centuries is called arnica. You can use arnica topically to rub on sore muscles or to reduce joint pain. It also comes as a homeopathic remedy to ingest. Either way, there are lots of studies showing that it’s very effective for pain, especially for arthritis.

One study even found that arnica gel worked just as good as a daily dose of ibuprofen. Now that’s something the FDA should be telling us about!

Sources:

“Are popular pain relievers really killing people? NSAIDs and Atrial Fib!” The People’s Pharmacy, April 10, 2014, peoplespharmacy.com

“Certain Rx painkillers tied to higher Afib risk” Steven Reinberg, April 9, 2014, WebMD, webmd.com

“FDA panel votes down heart safety claim for Aleve” February 11, 2014, Associated Press, foxnews.com

“The alternative medicine cabinet: arnica for pain relief” Anahad O’Connor, The New York Times, well.blogs.nytimes.com