Change urged in analgesic prescriptions

Feb 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: Most US babies get their vaccines, CDC says

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A new century of Alzheimer's disease research

Jul 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

Most US babies get their vaccines, CDC says

21 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The vast majority of American babies are getting the vaccines they need to protect them from serious illnesses, federal health officials said Thursday.

Expression of privilege in vaccine refusal

Aug 27, 2014

Not all students returning to school this month will be up to date on their vaccinations. A new study conducted by Jennifer Reich, a researcher at the University of Colorado Denver, shows that the reasons why children may ...

User comments : 0