Commonly used painkillers increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes when taken at high doses or over the long term, according to research. Experts analysed more than 30 clinical trials on more than 116,000 patients to examine the effects of painkillers on people's health. The fears relate to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as well as newer anti-inflammatory drugs known as Cox-2 inhibitors. Doctors regularly prescribe such drugs to treat painful conditions, including osteoarthritis. They are given at much higher doses than those found in over-the-counter remedies, which are used for occasional headaches, aches and pains.
The risks of opioid painkillers outweigh their benefits for headache, low back pain and other conditions, according to the American Academy of Neurology (AAN).
The new position statement says the risk of death, overdose, addiction or serious side effects with prescription opioids outweigh the benefits in chronic, non-cancer conditions such as headache, fibromyalgia and chronic low back pain.
The position paper is published in the journal Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Opioids, or narcotics, are pain medications including morphine, codeine, oxycodone, methadone, fentanyl, hydrocodone or a combination of the drugs with acetaminophen.
More than 100,000 people have died from prescription opioid use since policies changed in the late 1990s to allow much more liberal long-term use, said author of the statement, Gary M. Franklin, MD, MPH, research professor in the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences in the University of Washington School of Public Health in …
Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any cold, allergy, or pain medication. Many medicines available over the counter contain aspirin or other medicines similar to naproxen (such as ibuprofen or ketoprofen). Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much of this type of medication. Check the label to see if a medicine contains naproxen, aspirin, ibuprofen, or ketoprofen.0
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