Analysts at Johns Hopkins University have found that the common prescription medicine aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen are far less harmful to health than traditional drugs.
The researchers said the study shows that people who take such supplements should be encouraged to try alternative treatments and not feel forced to avoid them.
“The evidence shows that it’s actually quite a lot safer to use these things in the first place than to just stick to them as prescribed,” said Dr. Daniel Furlong, a Johns Hopkins professor of medicine.
“And when people do use these, it is generally safe.”
The researchers, led by Dr. Dario Calabresi, said their study looked at the medical literature and found that people take at least four to seven aspirin-type pills daily and about 80 to 100 ibupromide tablets a day.
“There are also studies that show that there are also many other supplements and herbal products that people use as well,” Dr. Calabrosi said.
“People often are very confused about what to do when they are on these drugs.
We just wanted to put together a comprehensive review that would show that they are probably more safe than what you see on the box.”
He said the supplements are not inherently harmful, but if taken regularly they are very likely to increase the risk of cardiovascular problems.
They can cause blood clots and lead to heart attacks.
They also have been linked to cancers, especially prostate and breast cancers.
“When we were doing our studies, we had to do them at very low doses,” Dr., Calabrasi said, “and we didn’t do it at all on our own.
We did it with some very high-quality data from the research community.”
The team also looked at about 10,000 people in a national health survey and found a significant reduction in the risk for heart disease, cancer and death from cardiovascular diseases compared to people who didn’t take the supplements.
People who took the supplements were also less likely to have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and a host of other chronic conditions.
“In this study, we found no statistically significant reduction,” Dr..
Calabraresi said of the study.
“But we did see an increase in the incidence of cardiovascular disease in the people who were taking the supplements.”
The results could have big implications for Americans.
About 40 percent of Americans are now taking the supplement, and the researchers said that number is likely to grow as more people use them.
They are also trying to figure out if there is any difference between those who take the pills and those who don’t.
“We want to know what the safety profile is of this product,” Dr Calabasi said in an interview.
“I think it’s really important to make sure we understand what is going on with this supplement.”
The findings are published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
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