FDA Warning: OTC Nonaspirin Painkillers Linked to Stroke and Heart Attack

The Food and Drug Administration warned recently that the risk of heart attack and stroke from widely used painkillers that include Motrin IB, Aleve and Celebrex but not aspirin was greater than it previously had said. Experts said that the warning reflected the gathering evidence that there was risk even in small amounts of the drug, so-called nonaspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or Nsaids, and that everyone taking them should use them sparingly for brief periods. Millions of Americans take them. “One of the underlying messages for this warning has to be there are no completely safe pain relievers, period,” said Bruce Lambert, director of the Center for Communication and Health at Northwestern University, who specializes in drug safety communication. I am sure that Mr. Lambert was thinking of the comparison between over-the-counter painkillers, now known to have a greater risk for stroke and heart attack, and prescription painkillers, which kill more people murders or car accidents in the United States. However, there is one natural painkiller that has caused ZERO deaths, is a natural herb, but remains illegal at the federal level.

Acetaminophen: More Dangerous Than You Ever Suspected

Acetaminophen overdose is the leading cause for calls to Poison Control Centers across the US—more than 100,000 instances per year. Each year, acetaminophen overdose is responsible for more than 56,000 emergency room visits, 2,600 hospitalizations, and an estimated 458 deaths due to acute liver failure. Acetaminophen poisoning is responsible for nearly HALF of ALL acute liver failure cases in the US. It can be toxic to your liver even at recommended doses when taken daily for just a couple of weeks. The FDA has issued a statement urging health professionals to discontinue prescribing and dispensing prescription combination drug products containing more than 325 mg of acetaminophen per dose.

Study: OTC Pain Relievers Taken During Flu Season Lead to an Additional 700 Flu Deaths and Several Thousand More Infections a Year

More bad news for over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers. A study just published at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario links common pain relievers that reduce fever to spreading the flu virus, resulting in hundreds of deaths and thousands of more flu infections each year. This particular study does not even address the toxicity of OTC drugs like acetaminophen (Tylenol). Last year ProPublica revealed that thousands of people are dying every year from the toxic effects of acetaminophen. Another study published last year linked acetaminophen with increased rates of asthma and autism. In this new study, according to researchers in Canada, popping acetaminophen, ibuprofen or other pain relievers can actually help spread the flu to others. The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, and suggests that, based on factors like the quantity of pain relievers sold and the reproduction rate of the flu virus, using these drugs leads to an additional 700 flu deaths and several thousand more infections a year.