-- HealthDay staff
MONDAY, Feb. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Naproxen -- the key
pain reliever in Aleve -- seems safer for the heart than other
popular anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil and
Motrin), U.S. health officials say.
And it's possible that labeling will soon reflect that
Advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are meeting
Monday and Tuesday to discuss cardiac risks associated with
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, sometimes called NSAIDs.
Millions of people take these medicines, which also include the
prescription drug Celebrex, to relieve muscle aches, headaches and
pain from arthritis and injuries.
Since 2005, labeling laws have required a heart warning on these
anti-inflammatory drugs. That stemmed from Merck's withdrawal of
the NSAID Vioxx from the market in 2004 because of a notable
increased risk of heart attack among Vioxx users.
But naproxen doesn't seem to carry the same risks as the other
NSAIDs, an FDA panel recently concluded after a safety review
involving 350,000 people using different pain relievers. The panel
posted its findings online last week.
If the FDA does approve a labeling change, that could make Aleve
and other naproxen-containing drugs the preferred drug for patients
who have a risk of heart problems, Ira Loss, a pharmaceutical
analyst with Washington Analysis, told the
Associated Press. However, all NSAIDs will still need to
warn of risks for internal bleeding and ulceration, Loss said.
The FDA isn't required to follow its advisory panel's
recommendations, but it frequently does.
Aspirin, another type of NSAID, isn't a focus of this week's
The American College of Rheumatology has more about
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