NSAID overuse linked to cardiac arrest

A recent study has found that NSAID overuse may cause cardiac arrest, sparking debate about whether these drugs should become available via prescription only.

Experts are calling for tighter restrictions on the sale of pain-killer medication after a recent Danish study found a strong correlation between non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) use and cardiac arrests.

Since pain-relief compounds, such as ibuprofen, can be bought over-the-counter without a prescription, there is growing concern that patients who take abnormally large doses or use these drugs chronically may develop severe cardiovascular issues in the future. Ibuprofen is often sold as Nurofen and Advil, both of which are popular choices for pain relief amongst Australian patients.

While there is no scientific evidence about the direct cause-and-effect relationship between the use of NSAIDs and cardiac arrest, Chief medical officer at the Australian Heart Foundation, Garry Jennings, urges consumers to be careful with how much and how often they take the medication. Moreover, NSAID overuse may also cause other diseases such as stomach ulcers, liver damage and kidney failure.

As Professor Jennings puts it, “they’re not smarties, they’re serious medications”.

Tushar Goyal

Read more on this story here. For more news on drugs use and policy, click the pharmacology tag below.

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