/*PenDragn: Old, 'safe' painkillers found to cause same heart ills as new*/

9.13.2006

Old, 'safe' painkillers found to cause same heart ills as new

Some older, "safe" painkillers appear to cause the same heart problems as the much-scrutinized and discredited painkiller Vioxx, according to new research, which raises new concerns about the safety of treatments for chronic painful conditions such as arthritis.

At the same time, Vioxx itself appears to have even more side effects than previously believed, according to research published on-line yesterday by the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Three articles in JAMA feature some striking conclusions, including:

Older painkillers such as diclofenac sharply increase the risk of heart attacks in regular users.


But wait there's hope.

Naproxen seems to be neutral. Ibuprofen though may do some small damage to hearts (only 7% increaed risk as opposed to 40-50% increase for Vioxx and diclofenac. Celebrex seems to cause problems at high dosages only, but are no better than other NSAIDs at lower ones.

David Graham of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (but who has clashed publicly with his employer about its policies), said in an editorial published by JAMA that, for patients with arthritis and other chronic conditions that require pain relief "naproxen appears to be the safest NSAID choice."

Read original for the full scoop