Anti-Inflammatories May Increase the Risk of Heart Attacks

A recent study has found that non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) found in many over-the-counter cold and flu medications could increase blood pressure. When the body is weakened by such ailments, the extra stress on the body caused by these medications appears to be a significant cause of heart attacks.

Anti-inflammatory drugs may put you at heart attack risk | IOL

People who used NSAIDs while sick were more than three times as likely to have a heart attack within a week compared with the same time period about a year earlier when participants were neither sick nor taking an NSAID.

“People with uncontrolled high blood pressure or heart disease should avoid taking oral decongestants. And for the general population or someone with low cardiovascular risk, they should use them with the guidance of a health care provider,” said Sondra DePalma, from the University of Pittsburgh in the US.

The biggest concerns are for people who have had a heart attack or stroke, or have heart failure or uncontrolled high blood pressure, Michos said, in the paper published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Importantly, healthy people might also be at risk.