It’s a natural response; you have a headache, menstrual cramps, or muscle aches and you go straight to your medicine cabinet for one or two ibuprofen tablets. This over-the-counter drug has been used for years to alleviate pain. Nonetheless, recent studies reveal one of the most popular drug in the market is actually dangerous for you.It is produced as a genetic drug and under trade names such as Advil and Motrin.
According to Fusion News, from July 2014 to July 2015, Americans spent $4 billion on Ibuprofen.
People assume these drugs are harmless, creating a false sense of security is the fact that you don’t need a prescription for the regular and extra-strength doses.
The FDA first placed the Boxed Warning and Warnings and Precautions in 2005.
“Since then, we have reviewed a variety of new safety information on prescription and OTC NSAIDs, including observational studies, a large combined analysis of clinical trials, and other scientific publications,” the FDA stated regarding the updated warning.
The longer the individual continues its use, the higher the risk.
“NSAIDs can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke in patients with or without heart disease or risk factors for heart disease. A large number of studies support this finding, with varying estimates of how much the risk is increased, depending on the drugs and the doses studied,” the FDA notes.
Vioxx was pulled off the market in 2004. It is reported that the drug caused 140,000 heart attacks in the United States in the five years it was on the market.
NSAID’s are not just in drugs to treat a headache or muscle pain but can also be found in cold, flu, and sleep medicines.
Ibuprofen was seen as the best option in comparison to other NSAIDs as they were less likely to affect the stomach lining and intestines.
Still, he says the reason these drugs are on the market was due to the FDA not having stringent and meticulous outcome data prior to approval.
Unfortunately, Nissen says there are no definite answers for patients and doctors on what the risks are based on every NSAID’s “We don’t have any good data.”
Ibuprofen, Celebrex, and naproxen were given to 24,081 patients. Neither the patients nor the doctors knew who was taking which drug. The study found Celebrex to be the safest drug to take.
Side effects from Celebrex include serious gastrointestinal problems.
The study focused on patients with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, who take the drug daily.
The trial was funded by funded by Pfizer, a multinational pharmaceutical corporation. It points to the argument Nissen made of the FDA needing more data on the effects of NSAIDs.
Researchers looked at databases from the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands which totalled 7.6 million patients. Of those admitted to the hospital for heart failure and admitted to using NSAID’s were included in the study. The average age of the patients was 77.
Still, there is still the argument that as a society we depend too much on drugs to rid of the most minute pain and discomfort.
Turmeric contains curcumin, a chemical known to decrease inflammation. In Asian countries, the spice is applied directly to the skin to treat sprains and swellings.
Turmeric is the main ingredient in Indian curries so it is not the most tasty to ingest but making it as a tea with honey and lemon is another is a common way to down it for medicinal purposes.
Dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA.
It is important to note turmeric may interact with your medication.
Pfizer for example said “For over 30 years, extensive consumer use and several clinical studies have shown that Ibuprofen, when used as directed, is a safe and effective over-the-counter pain reliever delivered in a lower strength than prescription ibuprofen.”
“People want to have a pain-free existence, which is not a realistic goal, there’s always a trade off between efficacy and side effects,” Michna says.
Kaplan says that relying on drugs to manage pain is actually stopping the body to fight it on it’s own. “You interfere with the body’s own ability to manage pain,” he argues. “It can take several months for the body’s own pain system to kick back in.”