According to researchers, a new study shows the anti-inflammatory drug naproxen may protect people against heart attacks. Naproxen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) commonly prescribed for the management of inflammatory and arthritic conditions. Researchers in Quebec studied the effects of naproxen versus other NSAIDs in the prevention of acute myocardial infarctions (AMI), or heart attacks, in older patients. The study evaluated all patients in Quebec over age 65 who had been hospitalized between 1995 and 1998 for a heart attack.
Researchers found naproxen had a protective effect against AMI when compared with other NSAIDs. The effect was strongest in chronic users. The antiplatelet effect of naproxen appears to be brief and researchers say only persistent use may provide cardiac protection.
Researchers point out that the study does not compare the use of naproxen versus the commonly suggested course of aspirin for patients at risk for heart attacks, and the results should apply only to patients already in need of NSAID therapy.