How do non steroidal anti-inflammatory agents work

Studies have shown that people who take anti-inflammatory painkillers have a small but significant increase in the risk of developing a heart attack  or stroke . Although it can occur in anybody, the risk is mainly in people already known to have cardiovascular problems such as angina or peripheral arterial disease , and in the elderly. Perhaps the highest risk is in people who have previously had a heart attack. For example, one research study looked at people who had previously had a heart attack. The results showed a marked increase in the rate of a second heart attack in people who were taking an anti-inflammatory compared to those who were not.

While NSAIDs can potentially cause many side effects – some of which may be serious or life-threatening – if prescribed under the right conditions and used as instructed, they can be of great benefit. Your doctor can help you consider the benefits and risks of taking an NSAID to ensure they’re the right treatment option for you.

When you’re taking an NSAID, always use it cautiously and for the shortest time possible. If you need to use these medicines for a long time (for example, to manage the symptoms of arthritis when other therapies don’t offer relief, or when you’re taking low-dose aspirin to prevent a heart attack or stroke), make sure you see your doctor regularly.

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  • Citation tools Download this article to citation manager Arfè Andrea , Scotti Lorenza , Varas-Lorenzo Cristina , Nicotra Federica , Zambon Antonella , Kollhorst Bianca et al. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and risk of heart failure in four European countries: nested case-control study BMJ 2016; 354 :i4857
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    How do non steroidal anti-inflammatory agents work

    how do non steroidal anti-inflammatory agents work

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  • Citation tools Download this article to citation manager Arfè Andrea , Scotti Lorenza , Varas-Lorenzo Cristina , Nicotra Federica , Zambon Antonella , Kollhorst Bianca et al. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and risk of heart failure in four European countries: nested case-control study BMJ 2016; 354 :i4857
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