Ever since the Vioxx saga began, consumers have been rightfully concerned about injuries caused by the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs they are taking. These include not only Vioxx and the coxib class of NSAIDs, but also ibuprofen, acetominophen, naproxen and others. One major concern is that these drugs may cause blood clots, strokes, or heart attacks - especially when taken in high doses. A recent study published in Lancet confirms that coxibs are high risk for vascular death. Ibuprofen was found to have an increased risk. But, the good news is that it appears Naproxen is safe.
Details of the findings follow:
"Findings Major vascular events were increased by about a third by a coxib (rate ratio [RR] 1·37, 95% CI 1·14–1·66;
p=0·0009) or diclofenac (1·41, 1·12–1·78; p=0·0036), chiefl y due to an increase in major coronary events (coxibs 1·76,
1·31–2·37; p=0·0001; diclofenac 1·70, 1·19–2·41; p=0·0032). Ibuprofen also signifi cantly increased major coronary
events (2·22, 1·10–4·48; p=0·0253), but not major vascular events (1·44, 0·89–2·33). Compared with placebo, of
1000 patients allocated to a coxib or diclofenac for a year, three more had major vascular events, one of which was
fatal. Naproxen did not signifi cantly increase major vascular events (0·93, 0·69–1·27). Vascular death was increased
signifi cantly by coxibs (1·58, 99% CI 1·00–2·49; p=0·0103) and diclofenac (1·65, 0·95–2·85, p=0·0187), nonsignifi
cantly by ibuprofen (1·90, 0·56–6·41; p=0·17), but not by naproxen (1·08, 0·48–2·47, p=0·80). The proportional
eff ects on major vascular events were independent of baseline characteristics, including vascular risk. Heart failure
risk was roughly doubled by all NSAIDs. All NSAID regimens increased upper gastrointestinal complications (coxibs
1·81, 1·17–2·81, p=0·0070; diclofenac 1·89, 1·16–3·09, p=0·0106; ibuprofen 3·97, 2·22–7·10, p<0·0001; and
naproxen 4·22, 2·71–6·56, p<0·0001)."
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