There are calls to take painkillers containing Ibuprofen off supermarket shelves after one of the largest studies ever carried out has uncovered an alarming increased risk of cardiac arrest.
Medical experts say the safest place to buy painkillers is at pharmacies, not over the counter.
Typically you can grab them off the shelf so non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs seem safe enough to the consumer.
“Certainly up until now we always thought they were perfectly harmless,” Professor Jamie Vandenberg told 7 News.
However a 10-year study has now revealed a link between commonly-used painkillers and deadly cardiac arrest.
The Danish study of nearly 30,000 people found using the painkillers increased the risk of cardiac arrest by an alarming 31%.
These drugs include popular Ibuprofen-containing painkillers like Advil, Nurofen, Herron Blue and Voltaren.
Father-of-three John Ross had no idea of the danger when he suffered a cardiac arrest.
“I wasn't aware that there could be extra risk from things like Ibuprofen, so I probably took it occasionally to help with back pain,” John told 7 News.
He was one of the lucky five per cent who survive cardiac arrests outside hospital.
“If you're say over the age of 50 you really should be perhaps just sitting back and thinking: do I need to take these drugs or should I see a doctor first?” Professor Jamie Vandenberg told 7 News.
The findings have prompted calls for tighter controls on the sales of these anti-inflammatory drugs, potentially taking them off supermarket shelves and selling them only at pharmacies in limited quantities, at lower doses.
“I would prefer that you only got them from a pharmacist,” Professor Jamie Vandenberg told 7 News.
It’s important to remember if you have heart disease a daily low-dose aspirin is still recommended.
Newsbreak – March 16