Jump to content

NSAIDs Before Riding - Could They Kill You?


Recommended Posts

One of the "tricks" I've learned about long-distance riding (or driving, for that matter) is that popping a couple of NSAIDs--usually ibuprofen--can lessen achiness when you spend hours in the saddle. It works! I've done it occasionally, though not regularly.


Now, a recent medical study has determined that these drugs can substantially Increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.


Honestly, knowing that every drug has potential risks, I've been fooling myself into believing that my two or three ibuprofens before riding regimen was a handy trick, and I never gave a second thought to the potential health issues. I'll be rethinking this.


In the meanwhile, I'd be interested in hearing the opinions of the medical professionals among us. I first learned of the ibuprofen "trick" from a doctor. I'd imagine that medical professionals might be rethinking this, in light of this new information.


And, yes, I know something is gonna get each of us. I'd just prefer not to hasten the event. :grin:

Link to comment

It is said that excess "grunt candy" should not be ingested, but, before a hike(hump), I'd pop an 800mg 1 hour prior, at step off and every hour for the duration of the hump. Depending on the length, up to 8 hours for a readiness eval, I could have taken 8000mg's of ibuprofen within a span of less than 10 hours and I did that for the 16 years I was in the infantry......I'm not dead yet.....



Link to comment

Fortunately (?) I am allergic to NSAIDs. I use acetaminophen, which is safe at less than 3000 mg/day (keep in mind, that's only 6 500 mg caplets). Anything abused can be dangerous to your health.

Link to comment

I asked my wife, who's a cancer researcher and reads lots of these things, to look at it. She pointed out that a) it appears Ibuprofen is the only nsaid you can buy over the counter in Denmark. Also, the number of co-morbidity factors (diabetes, vascular disease) of the people in the study is very extensive. She suggested waiting for someone to find a actual mechanism that would cause the issue.

Edited by Antimatter
Link to comment

40 yrs ag o a DR told me take 8 NSAID/day and 3 hot showers to help reduce pain/inflammation in a shoulder after seriious injury and surgery.

No way they'd say that today.

Any of this stuff is like saddles, it depends.

It depends on your liver and general issues.

I used to do this, but other health issues eliminated the NSAID's and I just began moving and stretching more on the bike.

I've known people who have developed liver/kidney abnormalities taking OTC meds in response to health issues.

So, get a physical with liver/kidney function tests. From that baseline you can see how your body reacts.

In theory you would need a bunch of them to die from single ingestion event, but it is the cumulative effect and/or gastric bleeding that also is dangerous.

Link to comment

If on an aspirin regimen (low dose) you may want to research ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, etc.) and Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, etc.). While ibuprofen does a great job with pain & inflammation, there are many studies showing the negative side of the products. Some NSAIDS counter others, take it up with your doctor.



Edited by terryofperry
Link to comment

Mike...I have an internist in my family who rides. He told me long ago what he does is take a 500mg tablet of Tumeric along with a tablet OmegalRed (brand)krill fish oil 350mg tablet. It doesn't have to be that oil per se but the Tumeric needs an oil to bind with. He tells his patients who have arthritis to take this daily as well. Doesn't help rheumatoid arthritis.


For me.......it works...no more ibuprofen which I didn't do well with anyway. My wife takes it daily and her arthritis is in check. It took 5 days before it wiped out her pain. She has been doing this for 10+ years.


YMMV but I've old lot's of friends about it. Most say it works great and glad they are off the meds. Some say it had modest effect.

Link to comment

Don't consider this as certified medical advice, but .....


It is an interesting study, but to break down the results to those significant for us:


1) The doses of ibuprofen were very high: "Moreover, the trials were investigating high-dose treatment only with daily use of 2400mg ibuprofen, which is considerably higher than dosages used in daily practice."

I suspect you were only taking 400mg at a time two or three times a day (800 - 1200 mg/d) and it is impossible to extrapolate their data to lower doses of ibuprofen.


2) The details on the odds ratios showed a minimal increased risk in men under age 70 unless they had been admitted to hospital in the preceding 60 days with a cardiac event. Even at those high doses of ibuprofen (2400mg/d) there was only a 10% increased risk in men vs 50% increase in women. However, there was a 30% increase if there was a cardiac event within 60 days prior.


3) Some of the data isn't in agreement with some of the North American and British data, and some is. It would be hard for me to come to the conclusion that they did concerning the relative risks of the drugs in their study.


4) It wouldn't change my use of 800 - 1200mg of ibuprofen a day on occasion. That's about as much as my stomach can handle at a time anyway, and I can't take it for more than 3-4 days. Also key though is to make sure you stay well hydrated.


Mike Cassidy



Link to comment
That is a S:?!,-ton of ibuprofen.


Yep, at the time, you could go down to the Corpsman (medics for Army types) and request a baggie. They knew exactly what you wanted and would give you a ziplock full of the 800mg "grunt candies".


If it hurts, take motrin, if the symptoms persist, change your socks ;)

Link to comment

Before I had my shoulder replaced, I was taking "Vitamin I" on a regular basis every day.


If, due to a scientific study, blame anything on them, let me know and I will be telling Nancy as soon as she gets home.


Honey, I had to buy a sidecar rig, I took "Vitamin I" for too many years and it's not my fault! :wave::clap::rofl:

Link to comment

I got myself a ride to the hospital in the back of a very nice red van thanks to taking too high a dose of ibuprofen for several weeks. It caused a gastritis. Worst pain I've ever experienced. Worse than appendicitis. I'm very careful with it now.

Link to comment

I appreciate all the responses. For the laymen among us, it's sometimes hard to sort through the media reports to separate the hype from reality. It sounds as though an otherwise healthy person keeping his or her occasional intake with the recommended dosages is not at particularly great risk. Good to know.

Link to comment

I do know that ibuprofen counteracts blood thinners, and cannot be used by people taking coumadin for that reason. Whether or not it can otherwise increase coagulation leading to DVT induced PE, stroke or heart attack I don't know but I guess it is logical. You would have to ask a doctor.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...