Worried that your painkiller could trigger a heart attack or dangerous stomach bleeding? New reports on painkiller risks, based on reviews of dozens of studies including hundreds of thousands of patients, indicate most patients should try naproxen, an older anti-inflammatory drug best known under the brand Aleve. Experts say it doesn’t raise heart attack or stroke risk - a major worry for older people - and naproxen is inexpensive because generic versions have been around for years. Available over the counter, it’s taken by millions of Americans. The drawback is that like most painkillers, it can irritate the stomach, so doctors say some people may also need to take one of the newer acid reflux drugs. ‘I do think we should start with naproxen in the vast majority of cases,’ said Dr. Steven Nissen, head of cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic and president of the American College of Cardiology. ‘It’s about balancing the cardiovascular and gastrointestinal risk.’ The new reports were published Tuesday ahead of schedule on the Web site of the Journal of the American Medical Association because of their public health implications. They will be published in the Oct. 4 issue of the […]

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