(WellnessPursuits.com) – You are probably aware of the dangers of taking too much ibuprofen and other non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) at one time, but did you know long-term ibuprofen use can lead to serious health problems? Ibuprofen may even increase your chances of having a heart attack.
Most of us have become accustomed to reaching for ibuprofen or a similar NSAID whenever any kind of mild to moderate pain hits. We’ve also come to see these medications as safe, and with minimal side effects. Unfortunately, all drugs have side effects; some just come to the surface faster than others.
Ibuprofen can cause a slew of problems including stomach cramps, nausea, heartburn, kidney damage, changes to mental health, diarrhea, blurred vision, chest pain, seizures, appetite loss, ulcers, sweating, difficulty breathing, increased blood pressure, miscarriage and even coma. Now, researchers are finding ibuprofen can also contribute to cardiovascular disease. That’s certainly a risk we all need to take seriously.
Ibuprofen and most other NSAIDs can increase your chances of developing internal bleeding, especially within the stomach or lower GI tract. Mixing two NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, increases your risk. You should never take NSAIDs if you have an ulcer.
You also should avoid ibuprofen and other NSAIDs if you have hypertension, take diuretics or are taking any kind of heart medication. Talk to your doctor before taking pain relievers if you’ve experienced renal failure, suffer from liver disease, have anemia or any eye disorders, or are pregnant.
The best thing you can do to decrease your chances of having a cardiovascular event is to use the smallest effective ibuprofen dose possible, and don’t take it long term. Already at increased risk for a heart attack? Don’t take ibuprofen at all unless your doctor asks you to. Ibuprofen can cancel out aspirin’s lifesaving properties when taken during a heart attack— so not only can it increase your chances of having a heart attack, it can increase your chances of dying from one.
Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs have their place as effective pain and inflammation fighters, but they can be dangerous if you use them regularly or have certain health conditions. Use all over-the-counter medications minimally and with caution. No medication is completely safe. And please — don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about how NSAIDs could be affecting your health.
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