*Do you have questions about the updated cardiovascular warning on non-aspirin NSAIDs packaging?
UPDATED LABEL WARNING: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has amended the existing cardiovascular warning on non-aspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including the active ingredients ibuprofen, ketoprofen (Rx only), magnesium salicylate, and naproxen sodium to state that these medicines can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. The risk is higher if you use more than directed or for longer than directed. The updated warning does not apply to aspirin. The change was first applied to prescription products and a similar change is now appearing on over-the-counter (OTC) NSAIDs Drug Facts labels, with the exception of aspirin.
To ensure you are safely using non-aspirin OTC NSAIDs to treat your minor pain and fever, read and follow the Drug Facts label and talk to your healthcare provider if you have any questions. Also, consumers should be aware that NSAIDs are an active ingredient in many medicines – both prescription and OTC – and ensure they aren’t inadvertently taking more than the recommended dose.
Find more information about safe use of OTC NSAIDs below.
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.
Some pain relievers are available as topical products (products applied to the skin, rather than ingested) whereas internal analgesics are pain relievers and fever reducers.
- 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, rather than ingested.
- Internal analgesics 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.
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.