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Cardiovascular Health Channel
Reported September 28, 2011

Anti-Inflammatory Drugs vs. Cardiovascular Risk

(Ivanhoe Newswire) – An updated study gives new information on the cardiovascular risks of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and suggests that naproxen, a commonly used drug, and low dose ibuprofen are least likely to increase cardiovascular risks. In addition, diclofenac, even doses available without prescription, elevates the risk.

Using only observational studies, because randomized controlled trials have only reported small numbers of cardiovascular events, the authors, Patricia McGettigan (Hull York Medical School, Hull, UK), and David Henry (Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto, Canada) also found that the new NSAID, etoricoxib, has a high risk of cardiovascular events similar to that of drugs that have been withdrawn because of safety concerns and that new evidence on cardiovascular risk of indomethacin, an older drug, casts doubt on its continued clinical use.

"The large sizes of the studies reviewed here, the presence of consistent dose-response relationships, and general agreement with the results of randomised trials give us confidence in the results," the authors were quoted as saying. "In our view, the results are sufficiently robust to inform clinical and regulatory decisions," they added.

SOURCE: PLoS Medicine, published online September 26, 2011

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