Do you have questions about the Food and Drug Administration’s recent Drug Safety Communication on non-aspirin NSAIDs?
The FDA’s communication released on July 9, 2015, states that the agency intends to amend the cardiovascular warning on non-aspirin NSAIDs including the active ingredients ibuprofen, ketoprofen, magnesium salicylate and naproxen sodium to state that these medicines can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke in patients with or without heart disease or risk factors for heart disease. The change will first be applied to prescription products and then to over-the-counter (OTC) NSAIDs.
To ensure you are using non-aspirin to treat your minor pain and fever safely, read and follow the label and talk to your healthcare provider if you have any questions.
Pain & Fever Facts
Headache, backache, muscle aches, toothache, menstrual cramps, arthritis, and aches and pains—you know when you’re in pain. Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers and fever reducers (also known as internal analgesics) are medicines that treat both fever and minor pain. Some pain relievers are also labeled for the treatment of migraines.
There are two different categories of analgesics: internal and external. Internal analgesics are pain relievers and fever reducers. These medicines are intended for internal use and are either taken by mouth in the form of pills and liquids or inserted into the rectum in suppository form. External analgesics are topical pain relievers and are not intended to reduce fever. These medicines are for external use only and are applied directly to the outer surface of the body in lotions, sprays, and other forms. Before choosing an OTC analgesic medicine, you should first consider the type of symptoms you have and then determine the best course of treatment.
Pain & Fever Treatments
There are two basic types of OTC medicines that work as pain relievers or fever reducers:
- Acetaminophen, which is also the name of the active ingredient
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which include the following active ingredients:
Pain-reliever and fever-reducer active ingredients may also be found in medicines that treat multiple symptoms of the common cold, sleeplessness, or symptoms related to menstruation.
To learn more about using, storing, and disposing of pain medicines safely, watch these short films by the Alliance for Aging research: