More Pain for Painkillers

Heart risks complicate the decision to take some common drugs

The search for a good painkiller has always been frustrating. Opioids like Vicodin work great--except they're addictive. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is powerful--but it can wreck your liver. Even aspirin, with all its known heart benefits, can lead to internal bleeding. Now there's more painful news for people suffering from conditions like severe arthritis: researchers have confirmed heart risks for those taking large doses of two popular nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

A University of Oxford study reports that the NSAIDs diclofenac and ibuprofen have heart risks similar to those of NSAIDs that have already been banned. Although these risks were known in both...

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