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Study: Common OTC pain killers like ibuprofen could increase your risk of heart attack

Common over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been linked to increased risk of heart attack according to a new study. PHOTO: MGN

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--Common over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been linked to increased risk of heart attack according to a new study.

Researchers examined the effects of OTC drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen, commonly used as pain killers for everything from headache to muscle pain. Studying data from a pool of over 440,000 people, researchers found the risk of heart attack increased between 20-50 percent.

Analysis suggests these increases happen immediately upon taking the drugs. Researchers found no difference in risk increases between those who used NSAIDs short term or for 30 days or more.

Researchers say using ibuprofen (1200 mg a day or more), naproxen (750 mg/day), and rofecoxib (25 mg/day) were found to be "particlularly harmful" when using for 8-30 days.

For those taking the pain killers, researchers found your risk of heart attack decreases over time once use of NSAIDs is stopped.

The study was published in the BMJ by researchers from Canada, Finland, and Germany.

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