FDA Issues Stronger Warnings for Common Over-the-Counter Medications

Most people assume that if a medication is available without a prescription, it’s safe.  But any drug, over-the-counter or not, can have serious side effects.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued stronger warnings for some very common nonprescription non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medications, including Advil, Celebrex, Aleve and Motrin IB.

These and other anti-inflammatories, even when taken as directed, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke by increasing blood clotting, blood pressure, and hardening of the arteries.

Both short-term and long-term users of the drugs are effected, but the level of risk depends on the consumer’s existing risk for heart disease or stroke.

For individuals who require these drugs to function, doctors recommend taking lowest dose possible and being attentive to the signs of heart disease and stroke such as chest discomfort, short-windedness, or a loss of motor power or sensory power.

Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medications are powerful drugs and carry serious health risks. If your pain is mild or moderate, it may be wise to consider non-drug alternatives.

The FDA did not issue stronger warnings for aspirin or Tylenol (generic acetaminophen).

You can learn learn more about the strengthened FDA warnings and the risks from non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medications on this Diane Rehm broadcast:  https://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2015-07-16/health-risks-associated-with-some-over-the-counter-pain-medications