Harvard Men's Health Watch

Study puts hard numbers on cardiovascular risks of NSAIDs

A large study in The Lancet provides more details about the cardiovascular risks associated with high doses of anti-inflammatory pain medications. The review covered over 600 studies in which people took various types of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These include the most widely consumed NSAIDs, including over-the counter ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) as well as prescription-only diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam) and celecoxib (Celebrex).

The study found that taking high doses of most NSAIDs, except for naproxen, increases the risk of a variety of cardiovascular problems by about one-third. The hazards include heart attacks and strokes as well as death from cardiovascular causes.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »