Ibuprofen and other painkillers might trigger a heart condition, according to a major study.
The study found that patients who regularly took the pills were up to 20 per cent more likely to develop heart failure. The research suggested that long-term use of the medication caused chemical reactions in the body which placed extra strain on the heart.
This could lead to heart failure in patients who had a history of previous heart attacks or high blood pressure. An estimated 900,000 adults in the UK had heart failure which occured when the muscle became too weak to pump blood around the body.
It caused extreme tiredness, breathlessness and swelling of the legs and was a long-term condition that could not be cured.
According to the study published in the journal BMJ [British Medical Journal]Open, which involved 10 million patients from the UK, the Netherlands, Italy and Germany, the prescribed painkillers known as Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) including ibuprofen were 20 per cent more likely on average to be admitted to hospital with heart failure.
The findings showed that regular ibuprofen use upped the risk of heart failure by 18 per cent.
The risk was raised by 19 per cent with the use of Diclofenac, prescribed for arthritis, while Ketorolac, a less common drug, increased it by 83 per cent.
Earlier studies had linked the drugs to abnormal heart rhythm which could cause heart failure.
Researchers used data from almost 10 million NSAIDs users from the UK, Netherlands, Italy and Germany, who started NSAID treatment between 2000 and 2010.
The researchers identified 92,163 hospital admissions for heart failure among the group.
According to the experts, their study ''offers further evidence that the most frequently used individual traditional NSAIDs and selective COX 2 inhibitors are associated with an increased risk of hospital admission for heart failure. Moreover, the risk seems to vary between drugs and according to the dose.''