1. Prescription painkillers increase heart risk

    Painkillers linked to heart risk

    Remember Vioxx, the prescription painkiller so dangerous it got pulled from the market?

    Well, don't breathe a sigh of relief if you're not among the drug's many victims, because you could be taking a prescription painkiller with some Vioxx-like risks right now and not even realize it -- until it's too late.

    Common NSAID painkillers such as ibuprofen, diclofenac, and coxibs can double your risk of heart failure and increase your overall heart risk by about a third with long-term use, according to a new analysis of some 650 studies involving more than 350,000 patients combined.

    All told, that adds up to eight extra coronary or vascular events out of every 1,000 high-dose patients, three of which will be major ones such as heart attacks and two of which will actually kill the patient, according to the study in Lancet.

    And of course, the study also confirms that these prescription painkillers can increase the risk of serious upper GI problems such as bleeding ulcers, in some cases by as much as 400 percent.

    If there's a silver lining here, it's that the study finds the risk kicks in with high doses taken for longer periods. In other words, an ibuprofen for an occasional headache probably won't kill you -- although I'd still recommend other options for pain relief first.

    But millions of people don't take these drugs for occasional pain.

    Like the patients in the new study, they take high doses of NSAIDs nearly every day -- and many of them are seniors battling chronic pain conditions such as arthritis.

    If you're battling chronic pain yourself, I know you could feel like you're caught between a rock and a hard place, especially if your own doctor has already told you there's nothing you can do but swallow more painkillers and hope for the best.

    But you don't have to take those prescription painkillers -- and you don't have to deal with the pain, either.

    Instead of NSAIDs, try safe and natural anti-inflammatory supplements such as curcumin and fish oil, which can ease pain and protect the heart at the same time.

    In addition, MSM, homeopathic remedies and nondrug therapies such as acupuncture and cold laser can also beat pain as well as or better than drugs -- but without the risks.

    And if you find that those aches and pains are still giving you trouble, just two drops could be all it takes to soothe the twinges away fast. Joint pain... muscle aches... bumps and bruises... could all be relieved on contact! Click here to learn more from our friends and affiliates at NorthStar Nutritionals.

  2. Common pain meds increase risk after heart attack

    Don't touch these painkillers after a heart attack

    If you've survived a heart attack, you've already cheated death once -- but don't push your luck.

    You might not get off so easily next time around.

    I always warn my heart patients to stay off common painkillers after a heart attack -- especially ibuprofen and naproxen (aka Advil and Aleve). These drugs can dramatically increase the risk of a second heart attack and even death.

    The problem, of course, is that as people recover they tend to forget all about those warnings -- and a few months later, they start reaching for those painkillers again.

    And that's a huge and potentially deadly mistake.

    Memories may fade, but the risks do not -- and one new study shows they actually don't disappear over time.

    If you ignore my warnings and pop those pills in the first year after your heart attack, for example, your risk of suffering a second one or even dying of heart-related causes could shoot up by 30 percent when compared to someone who doesn't take painkillers.

    Thank that's bad? That's nothing -- because I have a number here that's even worse: Even if you manage to avoid that second heart attack, your risk of dying from any cause at all could be 59 percent higher if you take these meds, according to the new study of 100,000 European heart patients tracked for up to 12 years.

    That's just the first year. Over time, the risks go down -- but they remain consistently higher for people who take painkillers.

    At the five-year mark, heart attack patients who take the meds could have a 41 percent higher risk of a second heart attack or death from heart disease, and a 63 percent higher risk of death than those who don't take painkillers.

    In other words, don't touch those pills -- and really, that's good advice for everyone, not just heart patients. There are much better options for pain than painkillers, including 100 percent natural anti-inflammatory remedies such as MSM.

    Other safe options for pain include acupuncture and cold laser treatments. Speak to a holistic doctor to learn more.

  3. Painkillers up miscarriage risk

    You wouldn't dream of pumping a newborn full of powerful painkillers like ibuprofen -- yet nearly a fifth of all pregnant women take these meds during pregnancy... and it's killing their unborn children.
  4. Painkillers linked to penis problems

    Common painkillers may chase the aches away... but they might send something else along for the ride: Your sex life.

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