A Danish study has found that a common combination of medications can increase the possibility of serious or even lethal hemorrhage.
People with the irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation (A-fib) are at risk of a blood clot forming in the heart and moving to the brain to cause a stroke, so they are given an anticoagulant to prevent this. In the past this was often warfarin (Coumadin).
The researchers reviewed the records of more than 150,000 patients with atrial fibrillation. More than one-third of them were prescribed an NSAID during the study period.
Taking an NSAID pain reliever such as diclofenac or ibuprofen, even for a short time, more than doubled the risk of serious bleeding, from 1.5 per 100 to 3.5 per 100 individuals.