Dr Hilary discusses ibuprofen as possible COVID-19 treatment
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Painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen are among some of the most widely prescribed in the world. Given the drugs’ universality, they’re widely deemed risk-free. At higher doses, however, the drug can give rise to potentially life-threatening complications. In one study published in the British Medical Journal, ibuprofen was linked to a threefold greater risk of stroke.
The NHS defined ibuprofen as an “everyday painkiller for a range of aches or pains, including back pain, period pain and toothache.
“It also treats inflammation such as sprains and strains and pain from arthritis.”
Inflammation in the body, as well as pain and fever, buy generic levitra plus australia are all triggered by the release of chemicals known as prostaglandins.
Ibuprofen works by blocking the enzyme that makes the prostaglandins, helping lower levels of the chemical.
READ MORE: Shock as ‘painkillers do more harm than good’ says medical watchdog
The safety profile of NSAIDs is highly satisfactory when the drug is taken in small doses.
Growing evidence, however, suggests higher-dose of the drugs could give rise to trouble.
In one study published in the BMJ, researchers set out to examine the effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammation (NSAIDs) to establish their association with the risk of stroke and heart attack.
The authors of the study wrote: “Our study provides the best available evidence on the safety of this class of drugs.
“Although uncertainty remains, little evidence exists to suggest that any of the investigated drugs are safe in cardiovascular terms.”
The team also looked at COX-2 inhibitors, a new generation anti-inflammatory drug.
To evaluate the effects of both drugs, researchers analysed randomised control trials comparing NSAID, with other forms of the anti-inflammatory pill or placebo.
A total of thirty-one trials were completed, with 116,429 patients involved.
The results revealed that rofecoxib and lumiracoxib were associated with twice the risk of heart attack when compared with placebo.
Ibuprofen on the other hand was associated with more than three times the risk of stroke.
What’s more, diclofenac almost tripled the risk, while etoricoxib and diclofenac were associated with around a fourfold increased risk of suffering death from cardiovascular causes.
A total of 554 heart attacks were recorded, and 377 strokes.
An accompanying editor from the departments of preventive medicine in Nashville Professor Wayne Ray, noted: “Naproxen seemed least harmful.
“Cardiovascular risk needs to be taken into accounts when prescribing any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.”
Overall, the number of heart attacks and strokes reported was low compared to the number of patients.
The findings are consistent with previous studies that have highlighted a rise in blood pressure among patients with cardiovascular risk after ibuprofen intake, which is one of the biggest risk factors for stroke.
Medical News Today states that patients should take their stroke and cardiovascular risks into serious condition before starting a course with any anti-inflammatory drug.
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