Ibuprofen could kill you, and frighteningly it is available freely over the counter
A dire warning in the European Heart Journal – Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy explained.
In a press release issued on March 15, the European Society of Cardiology expressed concern over the public’s misuse of NSAIDs. NSAIDs are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin.
There have already been many warnings issued about the dangers of aspirin misuse. However, the misuse of ibuprofen needs to come with dire warnings.
Mistakenly considered harmless, misuse of ibuprofen can lead to an increased risk of cardiac arrest. Ibuprofen kills thousands per year who do not realize the cardiovascular risks.
The results of the study are extremely concerning. 28,947 patients in Denmark who had suffered cardiac arrest took part in the study. Researchers retrieved pain-killer prescription histories from each of the patients.
Alarmingly, 31% of the patients had taken NSAIDs during the month before experiencing cardiac arrest!
Professor of Cardiology at Copenhagen University Hospital, Gunnar H. Gislason, believes NSAIDs shouldn’t be so easy to acquire. He added that drugs like ibuprofen should not be available for purchase in places such as supermarkets.
He said that strict instructions must accompany the purchase of NSAIDs. This kind of professional instruction is only possible from a doctor and pharmacist. Ibuprofen needs greater warning labels.
Deadly Risks of Ibuprofen
Professor Gislason stressed that people must never exceed the recommended dosage. Taking more than 1200 mg per day of ibuprofen can be deadly.
If someone already has a history of cardiovascular disease they should avoid ibuprofen. This is also the case if a person has risk factors that could elevate the chance of cardiac arrest.
NSAIDs influence platelet aggregation. This can subsequently lead to blood clots. These blood clots constrict the arteries and raise blood pressure. Ultimately, this can lead to cardiac arrest.
Why are NSAIDs used for Pain Relief?
Until the issue of these warnings, many had an attitude that ibuprofen was a pain-killer “quick-fix“. Recommended for general aches and pains, it is a staple in many people’s home drug cabinet.
Warnings about their health risks appeared on packages as far back as 2005. But they have been mostly ignored, and not taken seriously.
NSAIDs reduce the hormones that cause pain and inflammation in the body. If a medical professional recommends the use of the drugs, the situation must be a last resort. Drugs like ibuprofen must be consumed sparingly.
Other Risks of Ibuprofen
The most concerning risk are this drug’s connection to cardiac arrest. However, there are many other risks associated with it.
The side effects of ibuprofen are vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, dizziness and headaches. These all require medical attention. More deadly risks include kidney problems, easy bleeding, and easy bruising. Other fatal symptoms are sudden weight gain, sudden mood changes, and ringing ears.
Ibuprofen can also cause fatal liver disease. Seek medical attention if you have experienced any of the following symptoms. Such symptoms include persistent vomiting with a lack of appetite. Abdominal pain, and dark colored urine. Also, the skin and eyes will start to take on a yellow color.
Alternatives to Ibuprofen
There are alternative pharmaceuticals and natural remedies for pain relief. When one is suffering general aches and pains, non-medicinal remedies should be the first option. These would include things like hot/cold packs, massage, relaxation techniques.
If the pain is persistently annoying, but not distressing, you could try some herbal remedies. The American Pain Foundation recommend Ginger, Capsaicin, Feverfew, Devil’s claw and Turmeric.
Paracetamol (also known as acetaminophen) is a stronger pharmaceutical without NSAID risk factors. Taking paracetamol still must be a last resort, and done sparingly.
The risks associated with paracetamol arise from an overdose or prolonged usage. The greatest risk is fatal liver damage.
If you try all of these pain relief options, and you are still in pain after a few days, seek medical attention. Your body is sending you a message through your pain. Something serious is happening and it is your body’s way of asking you to fix it.
Pain relievers do not cure underlying problems. They are chemical “band-aids” that we use to alleviate suffering. Misuse can mask symptoms that can lead to death.