Ibuprofen in fatal heart risk warning
One of the most popular over-the-counter painkillers in the UK can heighten the chances of suffering a potentially fatal cardiac arrest, a study has shown.
Researchers in Denmark found that taking ibuprofen was associated with a 31% increased risk of the emergency condition, which occurs when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood.
Other medicines from the same family of painkillers, known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), posed a similar danger, according to the findings.
They included diclofenac, which raised the risk by 50%, and was available over the counter in the UK until 2015. Today, it can only be obtained on prescription.
Heart expert Professor Gunnar Gislason led the study and has called for tighter controls on NSAIDs.
He said: "The findings are a stark reminder that NSAIDs are not harmless."
He added: "NSAIDs should be used with caution and for a valid indication."