According to the study, patients taking the popular drug regularly could see their chances of developing an irregular heartbeat increase by up to 40%.
In many countries, Zimbabwe included, Ibuprofen is one of the most commonly used painkillers, known as anti-inflammatory drugs.
A study of more than 30 000 patients found users were 40% more likely to develop an irregular heart rhythm — atrial fibrillation or flutter — which can lead to a stroke, heart failure and death.
According to a report from the Daily Express, a nurse from the British Heart Foundation said: “This study suggests a link between common pain relief medicines and an increased risk of developing particular abnormal heart rhythms.
“However, it’s important to note that the overall risk from these drugs and abnormal heart rhythms is still small.”
The nurse said people who were more at risk were the elderly, arthritis patients and those with kidney ailments.
Presenting the report, lead researcher Professor Henrik Sorensen, of Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, said this report showed that heart attacks should be considered when prescribing drugs like Ibuprofen.
“However, (the drugs) should continue to be used very cautiously in older patients with a history of high blood pressure or heart failure,” he said.
The results were published in the British Medical Journal last week.
Officials from the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe were unavailable for comment as their phones went unanswered. The authority licenses all drugs sold in the country.