Change urged in analgesic prescriptions

February 28, 2007

The American Heart Association wants U.S. physicians to change the way they prescribe analgesics for patients with, or at risk for, heart disease.

The association said it based its recommendation on evidence that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, with the exception of aspirin, increase heart attack and stroke risks.

"We believe some physicians have been prescribing the new COX-2 inhibitors as the first line of treatment," said Dr. Elliott Antman, lead author of the association's statement and a professor at Harvard Medical School. "We are ... saying that, for chronic pain in patients with known heart disease or who are at risk for heart disease, these drugs should be the last line of treatment."

The AHA suggested physicians consider acetaminophen, aspirin and even short-term use of narcotic analgesics as the first step.

"If further relief is needed, physicians should suggest the least selective COX-2 inhibitors first, moving progressively toward more selective COX-2 inhibitors, which are at the bottom of the list, only if needed," the association said, noting all drugs should be used at the lowest dose necessary.

The full position statement appears in the journal Circulation.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: A new century of Alzheimer's disease research

Related Stories

A new century of Alzheimer's disease research

July 25, 2007

Imagine the day when a routine visit to the family doctor includes a simple blood test to predict the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD). If the test returns a worrisome result -- too many sticky brain proteins ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.