Do you have Advil or Aleve in your medicine cabinet?
According to a study out of Sweden, just because certain drugs are available over the counter, doesn’t mean that they don’t pose a risk.
“Short-term treatment with non-selective NSAIDs, particularly ibuprofen and diclofenac, was associated with an increased early risk of cardiac arrest,” explains the study’s results.
The study’s relevance in the United States is derived from the fact that ibuprofen is available OTC. Both Aleve (naproxen) and Advil (ibuprofen) can be found at any local drugstore, and Advil particularly was found to increase heart problems.
For many women, especially those who live with intense menstrual cramps, some form of ibuprofen or naproxen is a staple. The easing effects of these drugs should be taken with a grain of salt and used in line with doctor’s recommendations, especially for those women with existing heart conditions.
“I would say the message here is to be careful taking nonsteroidals, particularly high doses, and particularly if you have a preexisting cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Christopher O’Connor, editor-in-chief of the American College of Cardiology journal JACC – Heart Failure, to TIME.com.