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News from the American Heart Association
Date:12/10/2007

g with further clarification and updates on other drug treatments, such as intravenous beta blocker therapy, and new recommendations about new drug treatments that should be used in patients with STEMI," Antman said.

NSAIDs have been linked to an increased risk of adverse effects in people with heart disease or heart disease risk factors. Because of this risk, the American Heart Association in February 2007 advised physicians to change the way they prescribe pain relievers, using COX-2 inhibitors and NSAIDs as the last line of treatment, instead of as a first line treatment.

The update now says to stop NSAIDs and COX-2 inhibitors during the acute phase of treatment in patients with STEMI. After the initial treatment, there are recommendations for a "rigorous review of any ongoing needs for pain control at the time of hospital discharge, followed by a five-step process for choosing appropriate pain medicines," Antman said. In all cases, the lowest effective doses should be used for the shortest possible time and COX-2 selective NSAIDs should be considered only as a last resort.


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SOURCE American Heart Association; American College of Cardiology
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