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It feels like everything these days has some kind of negative side effect, even seemingly benign over-the-counter meds you've relied on for years, like ibuprofen. And that can make even the most zen woman anxious. But now, researchers have announced a new formulation of ibuprofen that promises better pain-fighting powers without the negative cardiovascular effects that have previously made it worrisome.
Ibuprofen arginate is being hailed as a "wonder drug" in a paper published today in The FASEB Journal. It's made by adding arginine, an amino acid, to ibuprofen which both speeds up the delivery of the drug, making it a better pain reliever, and lessens the cardiovascular side effects that have been a problem with traditional formulations in the past, explained Jane A. Mitchell, Ph.D., a study author and Head of Cardiothoracic Pharmacology at the Imperial College in London, England, in a press release.
Unfortunately, this isn't a go-ahead for pregnant women to start popping ibuprofen. In the past, the Food and Drug Administration has cautioned that ibuprofen and other NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like naproxen, can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. They've advised that anyone with a heart condition to avoid these drugs, told pregnant women to steer clear late into their pregnancy, and encouraged women at all stages in their pregnancy to be very careful when deciding to take NSAIDs.
While the new ibuprofen arginate may mitigate some of these heart risks, it's not clear if it would be safe for pregnant women. "From what we know, this form of ibuprofen would also not be acceptable [for pregnant women]," Mitchell says. The current studies have only looked at the effect on rodents and human trials still need to be conducted.
Perhaps one day there will be a miracle drug for pregnant women. In the meantime, be sure to check with your doctor before taking any medications, including over-the-counter ones, when you're pregnant.
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