News on Wellness

Painkillers Cause Irregularities In Heart Beat!


A recent study published in British Medical Journal, have reasons to believe that taking painkillers and anti inflammatory drugs could possibly harm us more. A Dutch study reveals that intake of painkillers to combat headaches or infections particularly have harmful effects among older adults. Non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), increase the risk to atrial fibrillation in elderly people.


This study was conducted on 8500 adults of mean age of 68.5. They were monitored for thirteen years, on the use of drugs and health records were compared. The researchers, used electro grams to study the irregularities in heart beat after having prescribed medicines. In this duration, 857 of the participants had developed irregular heart functions. It was interesting to see that 261 had never used NSAIDs and 554 people had used it in the past. A small number of around 42 people however were taking anti inflammatory drugs recently. People who were currently using painkillers had a 76% higher risk to heart function disorders. Use of painkillers within 30 days of the testing also showed 85% increase in risk irregular heart functions to those who never had NSAIDs.

The common symptoms reported were irregularities in heart beat, shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue and sometimes headaches. Drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin are commonly taken for pain relief. NSAIDs are also prescribed by physicians for prolonged back aches and arthritis.

However this study was aimed to understand their underlying side effects. Studies prove that non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs, increases the risk to heart attacks and subsequent strokes. The study also confirms that past as well as current use of painkillers is associated to atrial fibrillation. Parameters like age, sex, and cardiovascular health determine the rate of damage. Researchers are facing a new challenge to find the association between misuse of NSAIDs and right dosage to be prescribed for medication.

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