Study Looks at How Aspirin Interacts with Pain Relievers

New research shows adding aspirin to popular prescription arthritis drugs – celecoxib, known as celebrex, ibuprofen, or naproxen – slightly changes how they interact with the cardiovascular system, but for the most part they’re safe to take together.

Posted: Apr 17, 2018 7:34 AM

CLEVELAND – There’s reassuring information for more than 50 million Americans who suffer from arthritis pain.

New research shows adding aspirin to popular prescription arthritis drugs – celecoxib, known as celebrex, ibuprofen, or naproxen – slightly changes how they interact with the cardiovascular system, but for the most part they’re safe to take together.

“We found overall that you can take aspirin safely with these drugs,” said Steve Nissen, M.D., chairman of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic and the study’s first author. “There are still advantages to taking celecoxib rather than ibuprofen, or naproxen, but if anything, the drugs are overall reasonable to take with aspirin.”

Researchers analyzed data from the 2016 ‘Precision’ trial where authors studied more than 24,000 people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis who were at high risk for heart disease.

Participants took daily prescription doses of either ibuprofen, naproxen, or celecoxib.

The 2016 study showed the heart risk for the drugs was basically equivalent, and that celecoxib had the fewest gastrointestinal and kidney complications.

The new study looked at ‘Precision’ participants who were also taking aspirin and investigated how aspirin may change the safety of the three prescription pain relievers.

Results showed that taking aspirin with any of the three drugs is relatively safe, however the safety of celecoxib, compared to ibuprofen or naproxen, was narrowed a bit when taken with aspirin.

Nissen said the new information should not cause worry, but it is important for people who take prescription pain relievers and aspirin to talk to their doctor.

“I do think that patients that take these pain relievers, particularly in full therapeutic doses, will want to discuss with their doctor if they are also taking aspirin to make certain that they’re making the best possible choices,” said Dr. Nissen.

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