Painkiller Side Effects warning

8 August 2016  |  Editor

Painkiller side effect warnings: Ulcers, heart attacks and high blood pressure.

Standard over-the-counter painkillers carry serious side-effects including heart attack, ulcers and hypertension, a major new study shows.

Researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark carried out a large scale study examining data from 14 European hospitals and heart centres.  The survey has now enabled the European Society of Cardiology to formulate a number of recommendations about what doctors should consider before prescribing painkillers to their patients.

The study found many older NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as Diclofenac carry similar risks for heart patients as some of the newer NSAID Cox-2 inhibitor medications which have been removed from the market because of their health risks. 

Research leader Dr Morten Schmidt commented that “this is worrying, because these older types of medicine are frequently used throughout the western world and in many countries available without prescription."

More than 15% of adults in Western Europe are given a prescription for painkillers each year.  Many people use these medications long-term, unaware of the risks to their health.

Natural alternatives are available though, with one particular supplement proven to be as effective as ibuprofen and aspirin at reducing pro-inflammatory chemicals in the body. 

Hop-alpha acids are specific phytonutrients derived from the hops plant, and are shown to have fast, safe anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties.  

The hop-alpha acids selectively block the inflammatory COX-2 enzymes whilst sparing COX-1 enzymes.  Standard NSAID medications block both COX-1 and COX-2: this is where the problematic side effects develop as COX-1 enzymes have healing restorative actions in the body, greatly needed in cases of tissue degeneration and inflammation.

Hop-alpha acids can be safely used for a variety of inflammatory conditions including osteoarthritis, headaches, back pain, fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.  The fast acting pain-relieving and antioxidant effects make it an ideal alternative to standard NSAIDs with no associated cardiovascular or digestive side effects to worry about.