Naproxen – the key pain reliever in Aleve – seems safer for the heart than other
popular anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin), US health
often lead to impotence
And it's possible that labelling will soon reflect that
Advisers to the US Food and Drug Administration will be meeting 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
and pain from arthritis and injuries.
Internal bleeding and ulceration
Since 2005, labelling 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 labelling 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
aspirin saves lives
heart risk for healthy people
anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)