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Chiropractic Research Review

Ibuprofen Neutralizes Blood-Thinning Effect of Aspirin

Patients suffering from both arthritis and cardiovascular disease commonly take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) for controlling their arthritis pain and low-dose aspirin concurrently for their cardiovascular disease.

Aspirin can reduce platelet aggregation that makes cardiovascular disease especially dangerous, and when taken daily has demonstrated the ability to potentially reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.

This study addressed the possible inhibitory effects of combining the use of aspirin with NSAIDs and acetaminophen. Subjects between 18-65 years were divided into three groups and were administered aspirin (81 milligrams) in combination with ibuprofen (400 mg), acetaminophen (1000 mg), or rofecoxib (25 mg). Drugs were administered once per day for 12 days: two hours following aspirin for six days, and then two hours prior to aspirin for six days.

Results: Subjects who took aspirin before ibuprofen inhibited the platelet-aggregation-inhibiting effects of aspirin by 90%; when ibuprofen was taken first, this blood-thinning ability of aspirin was reduced by 98%. No conflict was observed between aspirin and the other two drugs.

The authors conclude that regularly used analgesics may alter the "cardioprotective" effects of daily low-dose aspirin.

Catella-Lawson F, Reilly MP, Kapoor SC, et al. Cyclooxygenase inhibitors and the antiplatelet effects of aspirin. The New England Journal of Medicine 2001:345(25), pp. 1809-1817.

Chiropractic Research Review

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