Some NSAIDs May Increase Stroke Deaths
People who take certain pain relievers may be more likely to die soon after a stroke, a new study finds. The study looked at use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They include celecoxib (Celebrex), known as a Cox-2 inhibitor. It suppresses the enzyme Cox-2, which is linked with pain and inflammation. Celecoxib does not suppress the enzyme Cox-1, which helps to protect the stomach. Two older drugs, diclofenac and etodolac, are also sometimes called Cox-2 inhibitors. They suppress Cox-2 more than Cox-1. Ibuprofen and naproxen suppress both. The new study included more than 100,000 people who had a first stroke. Those who had taken celecoxib, diclofenac or etodolac before their stroke were 19% more likely to die in the month after the stroke than people not taking an NSAID. This was true only for those who had an ischemic stroke, which is caused by a blood clot.