Taking ibuprofen to ease a headache may seem like no big deal, but Danish researchers caution against overdoing it. A study in the European Heart Journal suggests that ibuprofen, one of America's most popular painkillers, raises a person's risk of cardiac arrest by 31%. Other types of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, also were linked to an increased risk of heart trouble, per a news release. The finding is based on data from 29,000 people who suffered a cardiac arrest in Denmark between 2001 and 2010. Of those, about 3,400 had taken a NSAID in the 30 days preceding it. The biggest increase in risk, at 50%, was seen with the NSAID diclofenac, reports the Guardian.
“The findings are a stark reminder that NSAIDs are not harmless," says study author Gunnar Gislason of the University of Copenhagen, who thinks the drugs are too easily available as over-the-counter treatments. The researchers say people should not take more than 1,200mg of ibuprofen per day, reports Live Science, which amounts to six 200mg-pills. The FDA has previously warned that people with heart disease or high blood pressure should consult their doctors before taking NSAIDS, because of earlier research that also raised heart concerns. (Read more ibuprofen stories.)