A new study has been published in the European Heart Journal examining whether or not there is an increased heart disease risk if patients switch from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to a medication called celecoxib.
The team of researchers led by the University of Dundee looked at over 7,000 patients over the age 60, who showed no evidence of pre-existing cardiovascular disease.
Half of patients switched their regular NSAIDs medication to celecoxib and the other half continued with their usual NSAIDs treatment.
The researchers found that in this selected group of patients, there was no difference in risk of having a heart attack or stroke in those who switched from their old medication to celecoxib.
Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “In recent years there has been concern about the association between commonly prescribed painkillers, known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, with an increased risk of developing heart disease. These drugs are used to help treat conditions such as arthritis.
“This study compared two different kinds of these non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and found that in patients over the age of 60 with no evidence of pre-existing heart and circulatory disease there was no difference in the risk of having a heart attack or stroke, when switching from older to the newer type of medication.
“This is reassuring for patients, however all prescriptions must be assessed on an individual basis and discussed with your GP to find the treatment that is right for you. This is particularly important for people with more than one condition, such as arthritis and heart disease, so the benefits and risks of any one treatment can be weighed up.”
The BHF currently funds around £100 million of new research in to heart and circulatory disease each year and is the largest independent funder of cardiovascular research in the UK and Europe. But the charity is completely reliant on the continued support and donations of its supporters to fund more research.
To help the British Heart Foundation fight back against heart disease, visit bhf.org.uk