London: Taking popular painkillers like Ibuprofen could kill people who have suffered a heart attack, researchers say.
Scientists looked at patients who had previously had a heart attack and started consuming the prescription drugs.
They found the use of the tablets, known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), was associated with a 45 percent increased risk of death or recurrent heart attack within as little as one week of treatment
The risk went up to 55 percent if treatment with the tablets extended to three months, the Daily Mail reports.
Study lead author Anne-Marie Schjerning Olsen, a research fellow at Copenhagen University, said: "Overall, NSAID treatment was associated with a statistically significant increased risk of death."
"Our results indicate that there is no apparent safe therapeutic window for NSAIDs in patients with a prior heart attack," added Olsen.
NSAIDs are commonly used and are associated with increased cardiovascular risk in people with heart disease or those at high risk.
In the current study, researchers investigated if the duration of prescription NSAID treatment influenced the cardiovascular risk among heart patients.
Among 83,697 heart attack survivors (average age 68; 63 percent men), 42.3 percent had a least one prescription for an NSAID.
The most common NSAIDs prescribed were Ibuprofen (23 percent) and Diclofenac (13.4 percent).