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Study Tallies Painkiller Risk after Heart Attack

Some common painkillers may increase the risk of second heart attacks when taken along with drugs to prevent clots, a large new study finds. The study adds to concerns about potential heart risks of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These drugs are taken to reduce pain and inflammation. They include over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve). They also include the prescription drug celecoxib (Celebrex). The new study used data from a Danish registry of 61,971 people who survived a first heart attack. Everyone was taking at least 1 anti-clotting drug, such as aspirin or clopidogrel (Plavix). Researchers looked at what happened during an average follow-up period of 3 years. About one-third of those in the study filled at least 1 prescription for an NSAID.

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