BUFFALO, N.Y.-- Researchers have found links between certain medications and heart damage.
According to government data, about half of Americans take a calcium supplement, and there's new evidence that shows they may be bad for your heart.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins found people who took calcium pills were 22% more likely to develop plaque in coronary arteries than those who did not take them.
But eating calcium-rich foods, such as dairy products and leafy greens actually protected the heart. It's not clear why calcium supplements are linked to heart damage, but experts say the body may have trouble processing large amounts. They suggest talking to your doctor to determine what is a safe dosage or if the pills are necessary at all.
When it comes to medications and your heart, the American Heart Association reminds patients to be on guard for potential drug interactions. The group released a scientific statement saying, that while many heart drug combinations are safe some people may not be able to tolerate certain doses or combinations. Experts say anyone taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, called statins, along with other heart drugs... should talk to their doctor about any bad reactions they have to the pills.
Some of the most commonly used pain reducers may be linked to an increased risk of heart failure.
Italian researchers studied the effects of 27 non-steroid anti inflammatory drugs and four cox-2 inhibitors, which are often prescribed to treat arthritis. Current users of any nsaid, including ibuprofen, were 19% more likely to be hospitalized for heart failure than past users. Two cox-2 inhibitors were also linked to heart failure. Experts say this does not mean these drugs cause heart failure, but they do need to be taken carefully and under a doctor's supervision.