Commonly used painkillers carry a significant risk of cardiac arrest, a long-term Danish study has shown. The study looked at ibuprofen, a widely-used anti-inflammatory medication, and found a 30% increased risk of heart attack. This translates to three avoidable heart attacks, and one fatal one, for every thousand users.

Ibuprofen, a “non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug” or NSAID, is readily available in supermarkets, corner shops and petrol stations, and is used by hundreds of thousands of people who have arthritis and other pain problems in the UK. The researchers have called for its sale to be restricted to pharmacies, as this is where appropriate advice about how to take ibuprofen, and its risks, can be given.

It is thought that ibuprofen can encourage blood-clot formation, restrict arteries and raise blood pressure, putting stress on the cardiovascular system.

The lead researcher, Professor Gunnar Gislason, warned people not to take more than 1,200mg of ibuprofen in one day.

Osteopathy has been shown to be effective in the treatment of low back pain, and can be helpful in managing long-term conditions such as arthritis.  If you are in pain and want to avoid taking pills, get in touch!


European Heart Journal

Institute of Osteopathy


NHS on Osteopathy