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Carol Eustice

Ibuprofen When Combined With Aspirin Increases Heart Risk

By April 8, 2007

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Arthritis patients who also have conditions related to the heart may be taking a combination of medications that increase the cardiovascular risk even more. Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Manhattan, studied 18,523 patients over 50 years old with osteoarthritis in the TARGET-HR trial (Therapeutic Arthritis Research and Gastrointestinal Event Trial - High Risk) and assessed combination treatments of low-dose aspirin with NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) ibuprofen and naproxen, and the COX-2 selective inhibitor lumiracoxib.

Study results published in the April 2007 Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases concluded that high cardiovascular risk patients taking ibuprofen and aspirin combined are nine times more likely to suffer a heart attack because ibuprofen interferes with the blood thinning properties of aspirin in those high risk patients. In osteoarthritis patients with high cardiovascular risk who were not taking low-dose aspirin, the rate of heart attacks was:

  • higher for patients on lumiracoxib than it was for patients on naproxen.
  • no higher for patients on ibuprofen versus lumiracoxib.

The interference of ibuprofen on aspirin's effects in high risk cardiovascular patients is an interaction with potentially serious consequences.

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