11 reasons to avoid ibuprofen

Cardiac arrest tops the list of  potential problems with taking this commonly used drug.

As if we needed another reason to question taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, a new study has concluded that taking these drugs increases the risk of cardiac arrest by a whopping 31 percent. A cardiac arrest is a serious medical emergency as the heart stops pumping blood throughout the body.

The study was based on the analysis of 28,947 cardiac patients in Denmark, and was published in the European Heart Journal.

“Our findings support the accumulating evidence of an unfavourable cardiovascular risk profile associated with use of the non-selective NSAIDs. This calls for special awareness in order to balance risks against benefits in treatment with NSAIDs,” the researchers concluded.

Despite this and other warnings, NSAIDs remain the most commonly used and abused drugs, typically for pain. They are particularly dangerous because they are widely available over the counter and because their use is typically considered benign both by consumers and medical professionals. Thirty-three million Americans regularly use NSAIDs, with millions others worldwide. In fact, many people, especially athletes, include them in their daily routines the same way they do dietary supplements.

But these drugs are far from benign. There are many common problems and side-effects associated with their use. In addition to increased cardiac risk, consider these other issues associated with the use of NSAIDs:

  • In addition to cardiac arrest, NSAIDs are associated with other heart issues such as increased risk of atrial fibrillation or heart flutter.
  • These drugs may delay healing.
  • NSAIDs disrupt the body’s own anti-inflammatory system. While reducing certain molecules responsible for inflammation, natural anti-inflammatory molecules also are impaired.
  • About 16,500 people annually die due to NSAIDs use. The culprit is usually ulcer-related complications associated with the drug’s continued use.
  • Intestinal problems, including bleeding, occur in almost everyone taking NSAIDs (even if it’s not noticeable). This can lead to anemia and fatigue.
  • Muscle dysfunction, contributing to physical aches and pains, and injuries is often prevalent among NSAIDs users.
  • NSAIDs can reduce the body’s ability to repair joint and bone stress.
  • Increased risk of kidney damage, especially when you’re dehydrated, can result from taking NSAIDs.
  • NSAIDs can disturb sleep.
  • Immune system stress often accompanies NSAIDs use.

For certain, no injury or inflammatory condition is caused by a drug deficiency. Before reaching for a magic pill to cure your pain, consider the cause of the problem and seek out more natural choices for remedies, especially balancing fat and eating certain foods.



  • Richard Carlson says:

    As an aside, ibuprofen is a glutamate blocker and can help with insomnia issues. I would actually say it’s a test for excess glutamate in the GABA/Glutamate balance. Also, glutamate is the exciting neurotransmitter, GABA the relaxing one. Blocking glutamate has helped me with Restless Leg Syndrome leftover GABA/glutamate imbalance caused insomnia. A further test is not being sleepy during the day even after a poor night’s sleep – more of the glutamate – excitatory day and night.

    • Peggy Heppelmann says:

      I find your comment on Ibuprofen as a glutamate blocker really enlightened. I have frequent insomnia due to a glutamate/GABA imbalance, which is made worse whenever I have a glutamate rich meal before bed, such as shellfish or Asian food heavy with fermented soy. Sometimes when I have been wide awake at night and have also had muscle pain, I have taken Ibuprofen or Naproxen and have quickly fallen asleep and slept well. I attributed to ability to sleep to the reduction in pain, but have always been surprised at the effect, because the muscle pain never seemed that significant. Your comment makes me realize that the sleep benefit is from the glutamate blocking effect, not the pain reduction effect, although I now realize that the pain reduction might stem partly from glutamate blocking.

  • ANDREW says:

    If you’re pro-vegan and are fine with carefully selected (and misleading ) snippets of research, you’ll enjoy “What the health”. Nuff said. I, too, would love to hear about alternatives to ibuprofen. I do get the occasional rare headache (gluten triggers migraines for me), and so far, ibuprofen provides relief that other pain relievers do not.

    • ANDREW:

      Thanks for your comment. I do not disagree about “What the health” or your comment on ibuprofen. The operative sentence of the whole article (in regards to your comment) is: “many people, especially athletes, include them in their daily routines the same way they do dietary supplements.”

  • John says:

    On a different subject, I am wondering if you the the Netflix documentry What The Health and your thoughts.

  • Miguel Enrique Izaguirre says:

    Incredible , and still at some Marathon you receive Ibuprofen as anti inflamatory suggestion.
    Are all non-selective NSAIDs as dangerous as Ibuprofen?
    What other antiflamatory pill may I take?

  • Rich Cook says:

    So, what do you recommend instead? I get frequent headaches that ibuprofen helps manage. Tylenol, etc. don’t touch that pain. I’m already working on a LCHF diet (although not very successfully yet … carb addiction, here). And I (try to) follow the advice in the linked article on 6 tips for reducing inflammation without drugs. Is it just a matter of doubling down on my efforts, or what?

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