The Danger Of Painkillers


Q. Like most people, I take an over-the-counter painkiller for aches and pains. Now, recent headlines say that these can cause a heart attack. Can you clarify this and suggest any safe alternatives?

A. Warnings about these painkillers are not new. In 2005, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that taking common, widely available non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen (both available without prescription), increase the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. They may also raise blood pressure and cause heart failure.

The warning followed the revelation that Vioxx, a prescription NSAID, had caused 140,000 heart attacks in the US over five years. It was withdrawn in 2004. NSAIDs were first launched over a century ago and most of them were registered at a time when there were few requirements for safety documentation. However, since the Vioxx scandal, there has been much more research, which showed that the risk is linked to all NSAIDs. Read More…

Are You Missing Magnesium?


Many of us are deficient in magnesium, which is known as nature’s tranquilliser. Among a host of functions, including bone building, it helps to relax muscles. It’s brilliant for aches and pains of any kind, as well as restless leg syndrome. Taking magnesium orally can cause diarrhoea, but it is absorbed well through the skin. Tipping magnesium flakes or oil into your bath is ideal, but if that gives you itchy skin, spray it liberally on sore parts of your body. Try Better You Magnesium Oil Spray Sensitive (£12.20) or Original Soak (£19.95). Read More…