Patients suffering from both arthritis and cardiovascular
disease commonly take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug
(NSAID), such as ibuprofen, for controlling their arthritis
pain and low-dose aspirin concurrently for their cardiovascular
disease. Aspirin can reduce blood clotting, and when taken
daily has demonstrated the ability to potentially reduce the
risk of stroke and heart attacks.
study in a recent issue of The New England Journal of Medicine
addressed the possible inhibitory effects of combining
aspirin with other pain/inflammation drugs. The people studied
were divided into three groups and were administered aspirin
in combination with ibuprofen (e.g., Advil or Motrin), acetaminophen
(e.g., Tylenol), or rofecoxib (e.g., Vioxx), with all medications
given at standard dosages.
Subjects who took aspirin before ibuprofen inhibited the
blood-thinning effects of aspirin by 90%; when ibuprofen was
taken first, this blood-thinning ability of aspirin was reduced
by 98%. No conflict was observed between aspirin and the other
two drugs, however.
Regularly used analgesics like ibuprofen may eliminate the
"cardioprotective" effects of daily low-dose aspirin. If you
take aspirin to help prevent a potential heart attack, be
sure not to combine it with other pain-killing drugs. Seek
alternative methods to relieve chronic pain, such as chiropractic
adjustments, regular physical activity, and proper nutrition.
Catella-Lawson F, Reilly MP, Kapoor SC, et al. Cyclooxygenase
inhibitors and the antiplatelet effects of aspirin. The
New England Journal of Medicine 2001:345(25), pp. 1809-1817.
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