Change urged in analgesic prescriptions

February 28, 2007

The American Heart Association wants U.S. physicians to change the way they prescribe analgesics for patients with, or at risk for, heart disease.

The association said it based its recommendation on evidence that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, with the exception of aspirin, increase heart attack and stroke risks.

"We believe some physicians have been prescribing the new COX-2 inhibitors as the first line of treatment," said Dr. Elliott Antman, lead author of the association's statement and a professor at Harvard Medical School. "We are ... saying that, for chronic pain in patients with known heart disease or who are at risk for heart disease, these drugs should be the last line of treatment."

The AHA suggested physicians consider acetaminophen, aspirin and even short-term use of narcotic analgesics as the first step.

"If further relief is needed, physicians should suggest the least selective COX-2 inhibitors first, moving progressively toward more selective COX-2 inhibitors, which are at the bottom of the list, only if needed," the association said, noting all drugs should be used at the lowest dose necessary.

The full position statement appears in the journal Circulation.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Sensor-equipped pill raises technological, ethical questions

November 17, 2017
The first drug with a sensor embedded in a pill that alerts doctors when patients have taken their medications was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, raiding issues involving privacy, cost, and whether patients ...

New painkillers reduce overdose risk

November 16, 2017
Scientists on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have developed new opioid pain relievers that reduce pain on par with morphine but do not slow or stop breathing—the cause of opiate overdose.

Separating side effects could hold key for safer opioids

November 16, 2017
Opioid pain relievers can be extremely effective in relieving pain, but can carry a high risk of addiction and ultimately overdose when breathing is suppressed and stops. Scientists have discovered a way to separate these ...

US regulators approve first digital pill to track patients

November 14, 2017
U.S. regulators have approved the first drug with a sensor that alerts doctors when the medication has been taken, offering a new way of monitoring patients but also raising privacy concerns.

Introduction is different, but top medications for opioid addiction equally effective

November 14, 2017
With opioid addiction officially declared a public health emergency in the U.S., medical intervention to treat the illness is increasingly important in responding to the epidemic. Now, a new study concludes that two of the ...

Drugstore pain pills as effective as opioids in ER patients

November 7, 2017
Emergency rooms are where many patients are first introduced to powerful opioid painkillers, but what if doctors offered over-the-counter pills instead? A new study tested that approach on patients with broken bones and sprains ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.