Jan 122011
 

One of the most frequently given reasons people provide for being unwilling to believe the claims of Happeh Theory, is that they go against established scientific claims or they are refuted by scientists.

That seems like a reasonable reaction since people are taught scientists are respected people who should be trusted, and “Happeh” is an unknown stranger on the internet.

Scientists are not infallible. They make mistakes as this series of blog entries will demonstrate. Every blog entry in this series provides an example of scientists being wrong about something.

Hopefully, after perusing these examples of scientists making mistakes, people will be more willing to believe the claims of Happeh Theory are correct, and that scientists are the ones who have made a mistake.

The news story this blog entry is based on reports that a drug prescribed for pain can give people a stroke or a heart attack.

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Ibuprofen Can Triple Stroke Risk; Painkillers Can Double Heart Attack Chances

Many of us commonly use painkillers to squelch the common headache or relieve back pains. However it has been found that even over the counter ibuprofen (Advil, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare) can increase stroke risk by three times and drugs such as rofecoxib (Vioxx) and lumiracoxib (Prexige) can double the risk of heart attack. NSAIDs are commonly prescribed for the inflammation of arthritis and other body tissues, such as in tendinitis and bursitis.

Pain, fever, and inflammation are promoted by the release in the body of chemicals called prostaglandins. Ibuprofen, for example, blocks the enzyme that makes prostaglandins (cyclooxygenase), resulting in lower levels of prostaglandins. As a consequence, inflammation, pain and fever are reduced.

A study published today by the British Medical Journal online examined the effect of include traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as well as new generation anti-inflammatory drugs, known as COX-2 inhibitors and risk associated with heart attack and stroke.

Doctors and patients need to be aware that prescription of any anti-inflammatory drug needs to take cardiovascular and stoke risks into serious consideration.

The Swiss authors of the study state:

“Our study provides the best available evidence on the safety of this class of drugs. Although uncertainty remains, little evidence exists to suggest that any of the investigated drugs are safe in cardiovascular terms. Cardiovascular risk needs to be taken into account when prescribing any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.”

The medical scientists performed an analysis of all randomized controlled trials comparing any NSAID with other NSAIDs or placebo. Thirty one trials were completed in 116,429 patients.

When compared with placebo, rofecoxib and lumiracoxib were associated with twice the risk of heart attack, while ibuprofen was associated with more than three times the risk of stroke. Etoricoxib (Arcoxia) and diclofenac (Rufenal) were associated with four times the risk of cardiovascular death.

In 2004, the COX-2 inhibitor rofecoxib was withdrawn from the market after a trial found that the drug increased the risk of cardiovascular disease. Since then, there has been much debate about the cardiovascular safety of COX-2 inhibitors and traditional NSAIDs, which several studies have not been able to resolve.

Many patients have both cardiovascular disease and musculoskeletal disease making NSAIDs both necessary and controversial. Other medical professionals suggest that it is time for an evaluation of a broader range of alternatives.

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