A recent analysis of multiple clinical trials involving different pain medications show that the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including naproxen, considered as one of the safest drugs in this class, is associated with a significantly increased risk for myocardial infarction (MI). The rapid onset of heightened cardiovascular risk in the first week of NSAID use was prevalent in this study. Within this first week of use, the probability of increased MI risk was greater than 90% for all NSAIDs. The almost immediate elevated risk came as somewhat of a surprise to researchers. In addition, uses of higher doses of these NSAIDs also lead to a significantly greater cardiovascular risk.

The majority of physicians know the risks associated with NSAIDs, and typically recommend that patients use the lowest dose for the shortest time when appropriate. Patients who are at the greatest risk of experiencing an adverse side effect from an NSAID are typically age 65 or older or those with a preexisting health condition like high blood pressure, renal disease or stomach ulcers.

The NSAIDs that were examined in this analysis were the three main traditional NSAIDs diclofenac, ibuprofen, and naproxen, as well as celecoxib and  rofecoxib. A total of 446,763 individuals were studied in this analysis, a considerable sample size to yield accurate findings.

Based on the findings of this study, people taking an NSAID are 20%-50% more likely to experience a myocardial infarction compared to people not taking an NSAID.  The authors of this study noted that the significantly increased risk for MI associated with current use was found for all traditional NSAIDs, including naproxen.

Patient counseling from doctors about cardiac risks, as well as alternative approaches including natural medications like THERAMINE, topical analgesics like Voltaren® Gel, exercise or physiotherapy should always be considered. You can read the complete study here.