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Acetaminophen does not Protect Heart Muscle

Although Acetaminophen can be used as a pain reliever and fever reducer after a heart attack it cannot protect the heart muscle. These were the results of a new study using sheep and rabbits concluded. //

The study, using rabbits and sheep, could have implications for people who have suffered heart attacks, about a million people in the U.S. each year, said researcher Robert C. Gorman, a medical doctor and associate professor of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. "It's a high volume problem," he said.

People who suffer heart attacks need to know which pain relievers are safe to use. Some studies have suggested there is an increased risk of stroke and heart attack among patients taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Gorman said. And a recent clinical study from Denmark suggested that NSAIDS may increase mortality if taken after a heart attack. NSAIDs are a major class of pain reliever and fever reducer that includes ibuprofen.

Acetaminophen is a popular over-the-counter pain medication that is an alternative to NSAID and aspirin. It is the active ingredient in Tylenol. Some classify aspirin as an NSAIDs, although Gorman said it is more common to place aspirin in its own separate category.

The study "Role of acetaminophen in acute myocardial infarction," by Bradley G. Leshnower, Hiroaki Sakamoto, Ahmad Zeeshan, Landi M. Parish, Robin Hinmon, Theodore Plappert, Benjamin M. Jackson, Joseph H. Gorman III and Robert C. Gorman, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, will appear in the June issue of the American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology published by The American Physiological Society.

Is it safe; does it protect? The researchers wanted to find out if acetaminophen can be used after a heart attack. In particular, they wanted to know if it is safe to use after subjects have undergone reperfusion therapy, a procedure to restore blood flow to the hear
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