This is stunning: after decades of hearing how safe NSAIDs* are, the FDA reports 7/13/15 that a meta-analysis of the research shows NSAIDs increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. The FDA issued a warning that ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB), naproxene (Alleve), and Celebrex carry risk even in small doses and should be taken sparingly on an as-needed basis.
Although aspirin is also an NSAID it is specifically cited as not problematic, though it is unclear if it was excluded in this round of scrutiny. Acetomenophen is not mentioned at all.
A larger randomly-controlled trial (named “Precision”) is underway. In the meantime, the FDA is asking the drug manufacturers to put warnings on their labels right away.
Millions of people take NSAIDs every day, so this is a game-changer for our collective attitude towards minor pain. The experts are suggesting dealing with the minor aches and pains by changing habits and treating the underlying cause.
I confess to an easy attitude with ibuprofen throughout my life as a wannabe athlete but reading this article I will proceed with caution. Yes, it does help but it’s too easy a fix when I could do more stretching and qigong while learning to accept some aches and pains as a byproduct of being active and older.
I also am fortunate to have easy access to acupuncture and biopuncture, which help relieve my mild back pain without any deleterious side effects. Although my problem is mechanical and will eventually need conventional intervention, for now these methods are working well enough.
Please forward this post to anyone you care about who is relying on NSAIDs. Again, stretching/yoga, qigong, acupuncture and biopuncture, Reiki and massage are a few alternatives to consider that work, get you engaged with your wellbeing, and provide benefits without the risks.
*Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
Acupuncture was approved by the National Institute of Health (NIH) in 1997 based in part on its ability to help manage pain. We’ve worked in conventional medicine settings in this capacity and experienced first-hand remarkable turn-arounds, in part because acupuncture affects the brain, altering the perception of pain. If you’re curious, let’s set up a free 20-minute phone consult to see if we can help.
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