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Healthy Heart Reports

Don't Take Ibuprofen Before Aspirin

An article in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that aspirin helps prevent heart attacks, but taking the arthritis medicine, ibuprofen, a few hours before taking aspirin blocks this benefit and prevents aspirin from preventing heart attacks. Iburpofen is sold under the brand names Advil and Motrin.

The last event in getting a heart attack is a clot that blocks the flow of blood to the heart muscle. Aspirin prevents heart attacks by preventing clotting caused by enzymes called cyclooxygenase-1. Ibuprofen clogs up cyclooxygenase-1, so aspirin can't get there to block it and prevent clotting. Since ibuprofen blocks aspirin effects only for up to two hours, heart patients can probably take Ibuprofen after aspirin, as long as they wait more than two hours. If you are not at high risk for a heart attack or formng clots, you probably should not be taking aspirin anyway.

NEJM December 20 2001


Copyright 2002
Dr. Mirkin's opinions and the references cited are for information only, and are not intended to diagnose or prescribe. For your specific diagnosis and treatment, consult your doctor or health care provider.

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