FDA Alert: Pain killers increase heart failure

by Dr. Oliva Joseph

FDA Alert: Pain killers increase heart failure

FDA issues a warning that taking anti-inflammatory pain medication like like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin and generic) and naproxen (Aleve and generic) increases the risk of death do to heart failure.

Those with a history of heart problems are at the highest risk, but... "No matter who you are, your risk increases," said Bruce Lambert, director of the Center for Communication and Health at Northwestern University, who specializes in drug-safety communication. Notice he didn't say "may" increase your risk, it DOES increase your risk... period. 

The agency also says these drugs carry an increased risk of triggering a heart attack or stroke, even if you don’t have an existing heart condition. This is true even within the first few weeks of taking the drugs. Up the risk even more if you take the medications for extended periods of time and if you take larger doses.

Mind you this is not the first warning the FDA has issued against pain medication in the United States.  12 years ago, Vioxx was recalled by the FDA due to thousands of deaths by heart failure.  The scary thing about this is, the FDA approved Vioxx knowing it had potential life threatening side effects, but the FDA decided to approve it anyway, saying the risks "may" outweigh the benefits.

Unfortunately, this is how many potentially fatal medications are approved, because the risks, may outweigh the benefits.  I’m not really sure how death is a benefit over joint pain, but here we go again, 12 years later, and the very same warning is being issued on the most popular over the counter pain medications.  Maybe you remember a few years ago when the most popular pain relievers for children, infants and babies were recalled due to, potentially fatal side effects.  Now I’m a mother of 3 and I understand how miserable it is to see your children suffer with pain or fever, but as a society, we really need to understand that drugs are drugs.  Over the counter or by prescription, and every time we put a chemical in our body, we are taking a risk.  

The FDA is trying to bring to the attention of people that these risks, side effects and potential life threatening symptoms need to be understood and taken more seriously.  These medications by design are meant to be used as needed, or for short terms use.  Even antacids, which used to be by prescription, and anti-histamines, which used to be by prescription, have warnings that they are NOT intended for long term use.  When these drugs are tested in clinical trials, they are not tested in people who use them daily for years, they are tested for a length of time, for which that drugs use is approved.  

Please, I urge you, read your warning labels.  It can save you from potentially fatal side effects like sudden cardiac arrest, liver failure and kidney failure.  Do you know that half of the people on dialysis have kidney failure due to pain meds.  Do you know that gastric bleeding and ulcers, are a common effect of pain meds... not to mention the toxic effects on liver function.  

Natural options to reduce inflammation should be our first line of therapy, not our last.  It amazes me how many patients come to me after multiple failed surgeries, years of medication with no improvement and multiple side effects, and they come in because I’m their last resort. How is it that medication, injections and surgery are our first resort, and changing your diet, taking natural supplements and considering natural treatment options be your last resort?  

Am I the only person for which this backwards and barbaric approach makes zero sense?  

How about we start by cutting highly inflammatory foods like sugar, wheat, dairy, hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners and neurotoxins like MSG and nitrates.  Eat a whole food diet, drink plenty of water and take in healthy amounts of essential fatty acids from raw nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and wild caught fish. Turbo-charge your results by adding natural anti-inflammatories like ginger, turmeric and boswellia.

WARNING: Potential benefits include: increase in energy, better sleep quality, improved digestion, reduction in swelling and stiffness, weight loss, improved focus and a better state of physical, chemical and emotional health.




Dr. Oliva Joseph
Dr. Oliva Joseph

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"Health is my passion. Your health is our Mission"