What do you do when a headache settles in?
Chances are, you probably do the same thing as when you experience back pain or a toothache : take an ibuprofen.
As we’ve grown more and more dependent on drugs, we’ve also prioritized symptoms over illness. Instead of getting more sleep and rehydrating to cure the cause of a headache, you can simply take a pill that will ease your symptoms.
Like any other quick fix, taking ibuprofen will only make your headache return as soon the pill wears off. Ibuprofen is widely used today, but doctors warn that the regular use of ibuprofen and other drugs takes a toll on the liver and heart.
Better Safe Than Sorry
Ibuprofen works by blocking the formation of prostaglandin, prostacyclin and thromboxane products, which are important mediators of inflammation and pain (1).
Since the drug is metabolized by the liver, it most strongly affects this organ, causing injury, liver failure, or disease (jaundice) over time (2).
The FDA has also warned against the use of these drugs since 2005 because it increases your risk of heart attack (3).
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The organization has since emphasized the warning with the following information (4):
- Heart attack and stroke risk increase even with short-term use, and the risk may begin within a few weeks of starting to take an NSAID.
- The risk increases with higher doses of NSAIDs taken for longer periods of time.
- The risk is greatest for people who already have heart disease, though even people without heart disease may be at risk.