I think I’ve read a few times here that ibuprofen is a no no if you have AFib, can anyone tell me if this is correct and why, thank you 😊
Ibuprofen : I think I’ve read a few times... - AF Association
Yes a definite no no - some reports say that prolonged use can cause AF. When I was diagnosed with AF my GP changed me to Solpadol (similar to Co-codamol) Codeine 30mg/Paracetamol 500mg) for my arthritis, I had been on a anti-inflamitory medication before . You can get Co-codamol over the counter but it is a weaker strength. That is also why a lot of over the counter cold/flu medicines are a no no as well because they contain Ibuprofen plus a few other things that are not good for AF.
I'm new to Afib but the hospital pharmacist came and spent time talking to me last week to explain about the different medications. I asked about Ibuprofen because its the only thing that works for migraine for me. The reason we are not supposed to take it isn't that it might make the Afib worse, it's because it can cause the stomach to bleed and we are on anticoagulant medication. That's the reason.
You are always supposed to take Ibuprofen with food, not on an empty stomach. It's probably on the information leaflet in the packet.
She said to me that if I needed it for a short amount of time and not regularly, then I could still take it provided I made sure to eat something first. It should not be taken every day as it is often prescribed when inflammatory conditions are involved.
Pseudoephedrine is the worst, don't touch anything with that in. It is very difficult to know what to take for pain, I can't take NSAIDs because of AF and asthma and have be careful with codeine because of bowel probs. I think there is a pain reliever specifically for period pains so your GP might help.
I think your right. Personally I won`t chance it. Stick with paracetamol IMO.
It`s crazy with a-fib to be honest. Somethings seem to suit some people, and others don`t. It`s the same with med`s - some tolerate and some don`t.
Kelly - keep off the ibuprofen unless a doctor or pharmacist gives you the go ahead.
I`m not medically trained so that`s only IMHO. Have a chat to your health care provider and see what they say
Research in Holland and Denmark showed that Ibuprofen and Diclofenac caused AF. The recommendation was that the use of NSAID’s should be carefully monitored and that they should be avoided if possible by over 55’s.
In addition, NSAID’s can increase the effect of anticoagulants and should be not be taken with them.
Thanks for that Finvola, I’m so shocked that my doctor knows I’ve been using ibuprofen for years to manage my endometriosis pain and doesn’t seem to know anything about the impact that could have on AFib. The same with A&E doctors, my cardiologist etc, how can that be??? Surely it should be on the list of questions they ask you.
I think Ibuprofen and Mobic (another NSAID) could have contributed to my AF. I was on them for 11 months after injuring my ankle. I was treated with painkillers, physio and rehab exercises then the tendon ruptured and surgery was my only option. It was the day after the surgery that I was diagnosed with tachycardia and a few months later (when I was out of the wheelchair and able to walk again) I was diagnosed with SVT, then a few months later again with Multifocal Atrial Tachycardia. The following year (last year) I was diagnosed with atrial flutter and then with AF.
Thanks Kaz, it’s awful to think that something as supposedly innocuous as an over the counter painkiller could have potentially contributed to what happened to you. This thread has got me thinking, I developed endometriosis 6 years ago and started taking the maximum dose of ibuprofen alongside paracetamol for 3 days every single month. Five years ago my flecainide became less effective and the really bad problems started with my tummy, the burping and bloating with rapid heartbeat etc all started then too. My husband has always thought that there is a connection between my endometriosis and the worsening of my AFib because they happened quite close together but maybe it was the ibuprofen.
I am shocked that not one single doctor or pharmacist I have seen has ever mentioned anything when I’ve told them I take ibuprofen regularly for endometriosis.
Unfortunately doctors often know very little about the adverse effects of the medicines they prescribe and even less about the interactions between different drugs. That is why iatrogenic disease is on the rise. They rely for the most part on info put out by the manufacturer which is often less than honest ( think Seroxat, Avandia ,Vioxx ) and the reporting system for adverse effects is in most countries notoriously inefficient. It is estimated that in the US only one adverse event in ten is reported. Patient's complaints are often brushed aside with remarks such as "drug x does not do that " even when the side effect is listed in the leaflet. Or "oh that is very rare" as if the person in front of them could not possibly be the rare sufferer. I now am very wary of taking anything unless I have thoroughly researched it myself and deem that there is no alternative. In short having been poisoned and misdiagnosed more than once I do not trust the medical profession that much. Sad but there it is.
Ibuprofen is known to promote arrhythmias and should definitely be avoided. My husband is not one to take painkillers but was given Naproxen..a similar NSAID for bad back pain and went into AF for several hours for the first time after 7 days on this drug. He stopped this and has not had a repeat. ( All this captured on my Kardia.
Re GP doctors - I have found that they don't always check on the interactions of drugs unless prompted. Not just for AF but also for other prescribed medicines and disorders. Several times my doctor has been going to prescribe a medicine and I've had to remind him of my AF before he picks up the relevant book to check.
When I was first taken into hospital and diagnosed with afib, ten years ago this week the first thing my consultant told me was never ever again take ibuprofen or similar. I had been taking it for a neck injury post a car accident and have not touched it since. The consultant was so adamant about it that I had no doubt he was correct. That was in the same hospital you had your ablation.
I think it's become fairly common knowledge amongst medics and afibbers now.
Thanks meadfoot, that’s really interesting. I have never been told by anyone, no one has ever asked me if I take ibuprofen regularly and my doctor prescribed me NSAID for my pain, i picked it up with my flecainide from my pharmacist and he never mentioned it. It might be common knowledge to some but it wasn’t to me and I’ve been taking it for 6 years. In that time I have seen countless doctors.
I wasn't on anticoagulants or put on them at the time of af diagnosis as I was low risk so it wasn't advice because of anticoagulation. I was not put on anticoagulants for a further five years post diagnosis when I hit a magic age and gained a further point on the chads vasc score. Interesting how we get different advice in different hospitals and medics.
Forgot to say it was a cardiologist who told me not to take ibuprofen not an EP. However I moved to London before I needed anticoagulation and have been under the care of one of the top ten EPs in the uk as rated by their peers. He gave me exactly the same advice re not taking ibuprofen and I truly trust him with my life. Hope this helps.
Morning, you can’t take ibuprofen if you are on blood thinners. And if you have AF it is most likely you are. Also you can’t have any creams that contain ibuprofen. I am prescribed voltarol cream for neck pain but you can only use it twice a day and very sparingly. As we are on blood thinners it can thin your blood even more. Have a good day.
I was told it was ok to use topical ibuprofen !!?? I use it occasionally and it hasn't set off my AF (yet...)
I would say probably the majority of people aren't told, I only learned after coming on the forum and since reading articles in the newspapers. Not one of the professionals I have seen has ever checked to see if I take it. Of course I don't now, and I am very careful in what sort of cold and flu preparations I am tempted to take, as many contain ibuprofen.
My daughter had endometriosis diagnosed about six years ago too and everything fell into place, her IBS, bloating and extreme pain every month. She had keyhole surgery and a lot of endometrial tissue removed from her womb and back passage. It helped a lot with her symptoms, and if you really suffer it may well be worth pushing for a referral. However, it isn't a cure and new endometrial tissue could be developing again right now. You may already know this, but being on the contraceptive pill (without a seven day break) greatly suppresses symptoms of endometrosis, it isn't ideal, but what is the alternative? I really feel for you, having this on top of everything else as it is a very difficult condition to manage.
My best wishes, Kelly x
Thank you so much Irene,
I’m sorry your daughter suffers with this awful condition. I have been referred and decided for now not to have surgery but it’s fear that stopped me. I’ve been thinking since my ablation that I might go back and have it done, it’s really impacting my life. The pill makes my arrhythmias worse so I’ve just been managing the symptoms with paracetamol and ibuprofen for years. My ablation has given me a new found courage to tackle it head on.
Thanks for you kind wishes, have a lovely day x
True and since my stroke I don't have the brain power to advise you. Personally I hate taking any meds and in my experience even the "specialists" sometimes get it wrong so you just have to find a good site like this one that has lots of experienced people on it read the information available in your meds box and try to make an informed decision. Good luck.
I've checked the leaflet info in Naproxen pack (my husband's on it short term) and the info in the OTC ibuprofen we have and there is no mention of AF per se. In cautions Naprox refers to heart problems but the e.gs it mentions are high BP, stroke, heart attack. Further on, after the very rare side effects, it lists some other side effects including heart palpitations.
Brufen lists more cautions but not AF. And nothing in side effects re palpitations/AF.
I'll ask my arrythmia nurse about it. If NSAIDs do cause AF it needs to be listed on patient info leaflet and should be common knowledge. It would be contraindicated for people with AF.
I work in elderly care and many older people are on NSAIDs for pain control and a good few have AF too.
I wonder if NSAIDs are a trigger for some people rather than a definitive cause. Since the medical staff I have seen for my AF don't appear to 'believe' in triggers they will need definitive control research.
I'm going to see what I can find out when I go back to work.
Hi, about a month ago KKKats posted ‘Pain Relief on anticoagulants (Edoxaban)’ and there were some very helpful replies. I accept that you are not on an anticoagulant, however, my understanding is that Ibuprofen (and similar) should only be taken with extreme caution if you have AFib – irrespective of whether or not you also take an anticoagulant. Maybe have a look at that post and the responses to it in conjunction with the responses to your post today and, hopefully, you may find a suitable alternative.
Nothing is a silver bullet - just read the notes accompanying any medication!
The simple answer seems to be that pain management v AF has to be a compromise and will depend on how your body copes (we are all different). NSAIDS are discouraged but
I have used diclofenac (sanctioned by my cardiologist) for chronic muscle and joint pain for years, popped 50mg night and morning and felt no discomfort at all. Because recently Diclofenac has been linked to an increase in the risk of stroke we have experimented with paracetamol. cocodamol, meloxicam and currently celecoxib but none of these are as effective as diclofenac (for me) and both the hospital medical specialist and my GP have said that if nothing else works I should go back on the diclofenac. What it comes down to is risk versus quality of life - I recall that using aspirin rather than warfarin increases the likelihood of stroke by something like 45% - but that is from 1.6% to 2.3% so it is still very tiny.
I agree with many replies - make sure your medical specialists are aware of your condition(s) and and THEN follow their advice.
I’ve never seen anything about ibuprofen and AFib. I know you can’t take it on warfarin. But long before that when I was just on betablockers it was a definite no alongside them. I think possibly that it doesn’t go with the other medications rather than causing AFib in isolation. If people feel it does cause it, then the yellow card system can be used to raise an alert. An interesting question this which needs more research for sure.
You should not take ibuprofen tablets, nor aspirin if you are on blood thinners for AF. You can however use Ibuprofen gel to rub into aching/arthritic muscles or limbs. I use 10% ibuprofen gel for rheumatic aches.It does not affect my INR levels.
I suppose NSAID's are forbidden if you are on an anticoagulant unless the dose is adjusted but simply contraindicated otherwise, similar to the difference between 'Use by' and 'Best by' dates. Someone in extreme chronic pain or regular severe pain for a few days might well decide to take the risk if their AF is infrequent or permanent.
I think that explains why you didn't get a warning. Medications that can cause constipation are not advisable for me but my cardiologist didn't mention that when Diltiazem was prescribed. His only concern was that too high a dose might cause my heart to slow too much or stop which is obviously a dangerous outcome. As has frequently been said 'AF won't kill you' so it's now your unwelcome choice whether to take ibuprofen or not.
Best wishes if you go for the operation. You may have an episode of AF during or afterwards but it will be worth it in the long run.
Thank for your helpful reply, I agree that the guidelines are very clear and well established when it comes to anticoagulants and ibuprofen. The confusion comes from the studies someone mentioned linking AFib to NSAIDs and the recommendations from some cardiologists regarding the use of ibuprofen etc even when patients aren’t anticoagulated.
I just can’t believe that if there was causative a link between ibuprofen and Afib that it wouldn’t be listed as a side effect.
My mum has Crohn’s disease and that doesn’t kill you either but there isn’t a doctor in the land that would prescribe her NSAIDs. And if they did you could check the information sheet and see that it’s not suitable to take. That’s what makes me think it is more linked to anticoagulants than AFib itself.
Do be careful Aufgeblassen. Are these all prescribed? Don’t want to cause unnecessary concern but A gastro intestinal bleed can be nasty and occur with little warning.
I have a golden rule - whenever my meds are changed I ask the prescribing doctor how the new med fits in with the rest of my meds and if there are any side effects to look out for. My GP always checks to see if there are any contra indications with other meds. As a belt and braces exercise, when I collect new meds from the pharmacist I ask the same question; useful since I was once given a med that the pharmacist identified as a no no to take with my IBD. I have also found the opportunity to discuss my medication with a pharmacist whilst a hospital in-patient invaluable, they seem to have time, doctors are always in a rush to get to the next patient and you can feel a bit guilty about questioning their choice of pill and what it is doing to your body at any length. Medication reviews carried out by local pharmacies are also useful if you have the time to participate. Unfortunately, as we are all so different, we are never going to get round the age old problem of one man's medicine...…etc But, fortunately this amazing forum and the contributors gives us so many insights into the differences we have in our common affliction we gain helpful knowledge each time we visit.
Thank you for your helpful post, I definitely will do that in future if I ever get a prescription, I was really talking about nurofen which is an over the counter medicine, it would never occur to me to do anything other than read the info leaflet. I just wonder why it’s not mentioned on the leaflet or by GPs or any doctor I’ve ever seen if it is well known that it can have a causative effect when it comes to AFib? My doctor told me not to take any cold and flu preparations because they contain phenylephrine but never any mention of nurofen.
After going over and over the sudden change in my health from excellent to AF, the only tie-clue is my heavy use of ibuprofen for dental pain over several months. It damaged my heart and began the fibrillations. You watch: the news about the dangers of ibuprofen to the heart is coming out, and it will be quietly, if they can, removed from the marketplace before that becomes widely known and the lawsuits begin pouring in.