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Taking NSAIDS during a cold or flu can TRIPLE heart attack risk

Research has shown that the flu can trigger heart attacks.  And studies have shown antiinflammatories such as ibuprofen can increase heart disease.  Put these two together and what’s the risk?

A most recent study found those who took ibuprofen, or other over-the-counter pain killers while suffering a cold or flu, were 3.5 times greater risk of suffering a heart attack.

Yao-Chun Wen from National Taiwan University Hospital in Taipei and colleagues reviewed data of 10,000 Taiwanese heart attack patients and found their risk was increased by their medication use during an infection, and if the medication was received intravenously, the risk jumped 7.2 fold.  Once they discontinued the NSAIDS, the risk fell and once the infection cleared, their risk for heart attack dropped even more.

As we know compound risk factors can be deadly.  What we believe occurs with NSAID use such as ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin products is that blood pressure rises. We also have learned that the medication can interfere with a cell’s energy process and interfere with their detox process, causing cells such as cardiac cells to die.  This stress, along with the stress of the flu or cold, compounded with any other risk factors could be enough to trigger a heart attack.

Many turn to acetaminophen (Tylenol) products instead, but a recent study revealed that many are at risk of overdosing and causing acute liver failure.  Many over the counter cold remedies contain acetaminophen, hence adding pain relievers to the mix can easily bring one to the limit of 4000 mg.  To read more acetaminophen overuse:

Since antibiotics aren’t prescribed during the flu or cold due to the viral nature of the illness, medical providers suggest over the counter remedies to help treat the symptoms.  Although this study suggests there could be serious consequences to taking NSAIDS while fighting an infection, more research is needed.



                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician



Nationally Syndicated Radio Host, Board Certified Family Medicine Physician, Author

One thought on “Taking NSAIDS during a cold or flu can TRIPLE heart attack risk

  1. Very informative information again from one of the best Doctor. I don’t have any idea that even simple flu can give us a heart attack. Now I’m aware with that thanks to this.

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