Surprising: 12 Drugs And Supplements That Cause Heart Damage

You may know that heart failure is a condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. But did you know that certain dietary supplements and over-the-counter drugs may actually cause heart failure?

A new statement from the American Heart Association, published in August 2016 in Circulation, highlights some of these drugs and supplements that are commonly used — many of which you can get without a prescription. You may be thinking that if these medications and supplements are too risky for use, they wouldn’t be easily available to the public; but they are.


Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including ibuprofen and naproxen, may increase heart failure risk. NSAIDs can increase salt and fluid retention, lower your body’s response to diuretics that help eliminate fluids, and increase your blood vessel (vascular) resistance, which makes your heart work harder.

Vitamin E in doses of more than 400 international units (IU) per day increased risk of congestive heart failure by 21 to 50 percent (compared to a placebo) in patients with heart disease who’d had prior heart attacks, found a study published in May 2006 in the Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine. Unfortunately, many similar trials that showed this risk were designed in hopes of showing that vitamin E would actually protect the heart from coronary artery disease and, ultimately, heart failure.

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