As recounted in the recent video from Varney and Company (play above), the FDA is planning to strengthen the warning labels for all non-aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The accumulated data supports five take away points that the new labeling will reflect:
- The onset of risk is fairly rapid. There is a significant increase in the risk of heart attack or stroke within the first weeks of starting NSAIDs.
- The risk is both time-dependent and dosage dependent. Risk increases the longer the duration of consumption as well as increasing risk with increasing dosage.
- Although the this class of medication can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke even in those without pre-existing cardiovascular disease or significant risk factors; the highest risk group appears to be those with underlying cardiovascular disease and significant coexistent comorbidities like diabetes and hypertension.
- Using NSAIDs within the first year after suffering a heart attack or myocardial infarction increases the risk of death.
- In addition to increased risk of heart attack and stroke, use of NSAIDs is associated with an increased risk of developing congestive heart failure.
Such an increased risk reward ratio in a class of medications many perceive to be harmless reinforces the fact that pharmacological therapy at every level has inherent hazards and the potential for unintentional consequences. It also gives us pause and a chance to reflect on the importance of other modalities that may allow us to reduce inflammation. Such dietary choices, options and the rationale behind them is covered in detail in my most recent book; The Fallacy the Calorie: Why the Modern Western Diet Is Killing Us and How to Stop It. Here’s the link to pick up your copy today: The Fallacy of The Calorie