Reducing side effects of painkillers

September 12, 2006

Cardiff University researchers have increased the understanding of why some painkillers increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

The most commonly prescribed medications for treating conditions such as arthritis are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which include, for example, ibuprofen. These drugs reduce pain, fever and inflammation but also carry a greater risk of cardiovascular side effects in some patients. However, the factors that cause such adverse effects were unknown.

Now a team in Cardiff University's School of Medicine, working with colleagues at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, have discovered a link with levels of nitric oxide in the blood.

Blood vessels use nitric oxide to signal the surrounding smooth muscle to relax, dilating the artery and increasing blood flow. Patients with cardiovascular disease and arthritis have lower blood vessel nitric oxide levels.

Dr Valerie O'Donnell, of the School of Medicine's Department of Medical Biochemistry and Immunology at Cardiff University said: "We have found that reducing nitric oxide levels in some rodents makes them more likely to suffer cardiovascular side effects from NSAIDs, such as increased blood pressure. Although this is a small study, it will be important now to look at whether this happens in humans. It may mean that monitoring nitric oxide, or replacing it in certain individuals may help decrease the risk of side effects."
-end-


Cardiff University

Related Heart Attack Articles from Brightsurf:

Top Science Tip Sheet on heart failure, heart muscle cells, heart attack and atrial fibrillation results
Newly discovered pathway may have potential for treating heart failure - New research model helps predict heart muscle cells' impact on heart function after injury - New mass spectrometry approach generates libraries of glycans in human heart tissue - Understanding heart damage after heart attack and treatment may provide clues for prevention - Understanding atrial fibrillation's effects on heart cells may help find treatments - New research may lead to therapy for heart failure caused by ICI cancer medication

Molecular imaging identifies link between heart and kidney inflammation after heart attack
Whole body positron emission tomography (PET) has, for the first time, illustrated the existence of inter-organ communication between the heart and kidneys via the immune system following acute myocardial infarction.

Muscle protein abundant in the heart plays key role in blood clotting during heart attack
A prevalent heart protein known as cardiac myosin, which is released into the body when a person suffers a heart attack, can cause blood to thicken or clot--worsening damage to heart tissue, a new study shows.

New target identified for repairing the heart after heart attack
An immune cell is shown for the first time to be involved in creating the scar that repairs the heart after damage.

Heart cells respond to heart attack and increase the chance of survival
The heart of humans and mice does not completely recover after a heart attack.

A simple method to improve heart-attack repair using stem cell-derived heart muscle cells
The heart cannot regenerate muscle after a heart attack, and this can lead to lethal heart failure.

Mount Sinai discovers placental stem cells that can regenerate heart after heart attack
Study identifies new stem cell type that can significantly improve cardiac function.

Fixing a broken heart: Exploring new ways to heal damage after a heart attack
The days immediately following a heart attack are critical for survivors' longevity and long-term healing of tissue.

Heart patch could limit muscle damage in heart attack aftermath
Guided by computer simulations, an international team of researchers has developed an adhesive patch that can provide support for damaged heart tissue, potentially reducing the stretching of heart muscle that's common after a heart attack.

How the heart sends an SOS signal to bone marrow cells after a heart attack
Exosomes are key to the SOS signal that the heart muscle sends out after a heart attack.

Read More: Heart Attack News and Heart Attack Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.