Health Risks for People Who Use Popular Pain Relievers Such as Ibuprofen and Naproxen



Health Risks for People Who Use Popular Pain Relievers Such as Ibuprofen and Naproxen

As we grow older, most of us develop aches and pains. Sometimes we overlook the pain and get on with life, but other times soreness and pain interfere with our activities. But rather than simply swallowing a few pain pills from your medicine cabinet, you should know about recent FDA warnings about two popular pain relievers: ibuprofen and naproxen. 

These over-the-counter pain relievers, sold under various brand names, such as Advil, Motrin, and Aleve, can be quite helpful. But as with any medicines, prescription or over-the-counter, they must be taken with caution, particularly because the FDA has confirmed that these have a hidden danger.

Although the FDA has long warned that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may potentially boost the danger of heart disease and stroke, the wording of this warning has been modified to reflect a more serious nature, as it’s been proven that NSAIDs, in reality, DO increase that risk. While the danger applies to even short-term use, it increases when taken over an extended time frame. 

So, what does this suggest when it comes to the average consumer who occasionally takes ibuprofen or naproxen? According to Dr. Steven Nissen, a cardiologist with all the Cleveland Clinic, “If you are someone with a low risk of heart disease, and you have back pain or arthritis pain and need these drugs to function, it’s reasonable to take them.” However, the FDA’s recommendation will be to take the lowest possible dose of the medication for the least possible period of time. 

Individuals who should be worried about their use of NSAIDs include those diagnosed with a history of cardiovascular illnesses, heart attack, heart surgery, high blood pressure, or chronic pain – particularly those over the age of 65. The risks are estimated to generally increase when taking ibuprofen or naproxen as follows:

  • Over-the-counter dose: about 10% greater risk
  • Prescription drugs low dose: about 20% higher risk
  • Prescription drugs higher dose: as much as 50% greater risk

As with every medical concern, talk with your personal doctor before starting, stopping or modifying any prescribed medication regimen. 

In the event that you or your family are concerned about a loved one who could use medication assistance, Hired Hands Home Care can help relieve that concern. Our nurse-supervised care team can provide medication reminders to ensure seniors are taking both OTC popular pain relievers and physician prescribed medications as recommended. Additionally, our trained care staff can immediately report any medication side effects to both family members and the senior’s physicians. 

To learn more about our award-winning elder care in Pleasanton and the surrounding communities, contact the Hired Hands Homecare experts at (866) 940-4343, or complete our online inquiry form. We look forward to learning more about how we can help you and your senior loved one. 





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