Medical News Summary: Suspension of Aleve comes as a surprise


About: Suspension of Aleve comes as a surprise
Date: 22 December 2004
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Author: Byron Spice
Medical News Summary (summary of medical news story as reported by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette): The NIH (National Institutes of Health) have now suspended the use of Aleve (naproxen) in an Alzheimer’s disease prevention trial due to concerns over the alleged 50% increase in heart attack and stroke risk. Celebrex, an arthritis drug, was also suspended in this same study over concerns of increased risk of heart disease and death. Aleve is an over the counter pain reliever sold by Bayer. The suspension of Celebrex was no great surprise as it comes from the same class of drugs as previously banned Vioxx (cox-2 inhibitors). However, the risks associated with Aleve have come as a surprise as it has been on the marked for a long time. Some doctors believe that other drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil) which is similar to Aleve (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) may also carry similar risks if taken over the long term. Other physicians think it is time patients turn towards non medication treatments for arthritis pain such as exercising, losing weight and using orthotic devices and braces. Nutritional supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate currently being studied may also help. It is important to note that the risks associated with anti-inflammatory drugs were only observed in long term use so short term relief to alleviate headaches or muscle aches should present no risk. The newer cox-2 inhibitors do not improve pain relief but do reduce risk of gastrointestinal bleeding compared to anti-inflammatory drugs.
Related Disease Topics: Arthritis, Pain, Alzheimer’s disease, Heart attack, Stroke, Heart disease, Overweight, Obesity, Gastrointestinal bleeding, Inflammation

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