If you’ve seen news recently about OTC non-aspirin non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in regards to a hearing at the Food Drug Administration (FDA), you may have questions about how to use them safely.
NSAIDs are a class of commonly used pain relievers and fever reducers. NSAIDs have been well researched and have a long history of safety and efficacy when used as directed. It is important to distinguish the use and safety of OTC NSAIDs from that of long-term and/or high-dose prescription NSAID use. OTC NSAIDs, including ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, differ from prescription NSAIDs in indication, dose and duration of use.
The OTC Drug Facts label contains the information that consumers need to determine if the medicine is right for them to use, how to take the product, and when to see a doctor if needed.
Tips for the Safe Use of All OTC Medicines Containing NSAIDs:
Always read the OTC Drug Facts label carefully. The label tells you everything you need to know about the medicine including the ingredients, what you are supposed to use it for, how much you should take, and when you should not take the product.
Do not take an NSAID for longer than what the label instructs unless you are under the supervision of a doctor.
Talk to a healthcare professional before using more than one pain reliever/fever reducer product at the same time.
Stop use and contact your doctor if your fever gets worse or lasts more than three days or if your pain gets worse or lasts more than 10 days.
If you have signs of stomach bleeding, such as feeling faint, vomiting blood, bloody or black stools, or stomach pain that does not get better, contact your doctor.
If a severe allergic reaction occurs and you experience symptoms such as hives, facial swelling, asthma (wheezing), shock, skin reddening, rash, or blisters, seek medical attention immediately.
Do not take more medicine or for a longer period of time than what the label recommends unless you are under the supervision of a doctor.
Ask a doctor before use if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, liver cirrhosis or kidney disease.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to a doctor before using an NSAID.
If you are a woman in the last three months of pregnancy, do not use an NSAID unless you are specifically told to do so by a doctor.