Aspirin & Ibuprofen - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Monday, April 7, 2003

Aspirin & Ibuprofen

When Patrick and I need medication, we generally go to a drugstore like this, just like you. But there are two types of medication: one that requires a prescription and over the counter  medication. I think most of us, including Patrick here, assumes that the over-the-counter medication is benign - no problems with it as compared to the prescription medication. But there may be a problem with that thinking. Let me show you what it is.

Many of us take Aspirin everyday to prevent heart attacks and it works. If you take an Aspirin tablet, a baby aspirin, it prevents heart attacks up to about 30%. But it turns out that if you take this Ibuprofen, over-the-counter medication, it can nullify those results. Motrin, Aleve, Advil - anything with this in it nullifies the Aspirin. And it turns out that if you take this along with the Aspirin it increases death rates to about 50% over three years and it increases heart attack death rates up to about 70%.

So the bottom line is this over-the-counter medication can nullify the dramatic effects of Aspirin. So what does that tell us? When it comes to over-the-counter medications, be very careful. If you're taking Aspirin for heart disease or the prevention of stroke watch the Motrin or the Ibuprofen. Here's a substitute: Diclofenac or some of the newer ones Vioxx or Celebrex.  They won't obviate the affects of Aspirin. But remember, over-the-counter medication can do some harm.

And I'm Dr David Vastola, and that's life.

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