Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications known as NSAIDs, are commonly used for treating a variety of ailments, including headaches, achy muscles, and arthritis symptoms. These medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, celebrex, and naproxen, can cause side effects that include bleeding, ulceration, and even an increase in cardiovascular events. An FDA panel recently examined a number of patients using NSAIDs for pain relief, evaluating their efficacy and side effects. Interestingly, Naproxen (which is found in the brand name Aleve), was found to pose less risks than the other varieties.
The FDA panel, which makes recommendations to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, reviewed 350,000 patients using various pain relievers. Findings from this study revealed that there is an increased risk of cardiovascular events associated with most commonly used NSAID medications, but the risks aren’t as significant with Naproxen.
Last week the FDA met to discuss the benefits and threats posed by the use of NSAID pain relievers. While the results from their meeting haven’t been published yet, experts expect, that based on these findings, the FDA will most likely identify Naproxen as the preferred choice of pain relievers for those with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
However, while the selection of Naproxen may be an overall better choice
for cardiovascular health, it was also made clear by the panel that there are still inherent risks associated with prolonged use of NSAIDs, including internal bleeding and ulceration.