Saturday, May 21, 2011

ALEVE for Long-term Arthritis? Maybe Not.

There’s an ad that keeps coming on TV that bothers me every time I see it.
It’s about a working woman who has arthritis and is encouraged to take ALEVE® to reduce her arthritis pain.

The reason that this ad irritates me is because
  1. This woman experiences pain while she is working
  2. The woman is definitely not 25 years old.
  3. The assumption can be made that this woman appears to work every day.
  4. The assumption can be made that she will be working long-term.
  5. The assumption is you can take ALEVE® long-term.
  6. ALEVE® is not mean to be taken long-term, unless directed by a doctor.
  7. Some people who have arthritis need to be aware of two issues associated with ALEVE®.
On the ALEVE webpage you will easily find the following information:
If you have arthritis pain* and find it difficult to open bottles, ALEVE® Easy Open Arthritis Cap with Soft Grip™ is perfect for you!
Asterisk * = minor arthritis pain     Use as directed

ALEVE® Dosage:  Do not take longer than 10 consecutive days for pain or 3 days for fever, unless directed by a doctor.

ALEVE® Labeling Information and Usage
ALEVE® can interact with some blood pressure medications, so talk to your doctor or pharmacist to determine whether ALEVE® is appropriate for you.

On the ALEVE® web page if you click on the Healthcare Professionals Tab’ you will be redirected to a webpage that has a popup that states the site is for healthcare professionals only – which may deter some people, but not me. 

There you will find this statement
For the short-term treatment of mild to moderate osteoarthritis (OA) pain,

“NIH researchers halted the survey after finding people who took naproxen were 50 percent more likely to have heart attacks or strokes.

The FDA urged users to contact their doctors and to avoid taking the drug for longer than 10 days.”

Revised cardiovascular warning
"When using this product the risk of heart attack or stroke may increase if you use more than directed or for longer than directed"

And on the ALEVE® packaging you will find this warning (which is also on the FDA website)
“This product contains an NSAID which may cause severe stomach bleeding.  The chance is higher if you are over the age of 60…

For those of us that aren’t 20 years old anymore –
these two items are worth noting.

“unless directed by a doctor”
How many people see a doctor before taking an over the counter drug?

And that’s my two cents for today.

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