If like many people around the world, when you’ve got a bad headache or a niggling pain you probably reach for a bottle or pack of ibuprofen (trade name Advil).
The chemicals inside this pharmaceutical medication will dull the pain superficially but is it safe?
Is Ibuprofen really safe?
There are some real serious risks associated with even casual use of the drug.
The most concerning is the potential risk for heart damage.
In 2005, the FDA issued out an ibuprofen warning, claiming that it significantly increases the risk of heart attack or stroke and just last year, they strengthened this warning.
The FDA rarely does this.
After an extensive review of the drug, they issued the following statements:
“Even with short term use, one’s heart attack and stroke risk increase significantly”
“This risk increases the longer one continues to use ibuprofen”
“You do not need to have an existing heart condition to be at risk, although such a condition does increase your chances”
“These risks make ibuprofen especially dangerous to individuals over 40 – the age at which one’s risk of heart disease begins to skyrocket”
You have to bear in mind that the FDA approves some pretty nasty medications, but even they are raising a red flag when it comes to this over the counter drug.
Don’t Be Fooled
The major problem with over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen – or acetaminophen, for that matter – is that people generally assume they pose no major risk.
A prescription is seen as an indicator of seriousness. In its absence, most people just shrug and pop pills whenever they even think they need to.
Don’t worry there are other, natural options for pain relief.
Have you tried turmeric before?
Turmeric is a plant related to the ginger family. It naturally blocks inflammatory cytokines and enzymes. And that’s key – because while drugs like ibuprofen simply work to reduce inflammation, turmeric prevents it. For some conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis, it works much better than pharmaceuticals.