iStock_000011057486_MediumMost of us toss a bottle of Advil, Motrin or Aleve into our grocery cart without a second thought. But perhaps it’s time to think again before reaching for ibuprofen or naproxen, as a result of the FDA’s most recently released findings.

Although the FDA has long warned that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could potentially increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, the wording of this warning is being revised to reflect a more serious nature, as it’s been proven that NSAIDs, in fact, DO increase that risk. And the danger applies to even short-term use, increasing when taken over an extended period of time.

What does this mean for the average consumer who occasionally takes ibuprofen or naproxen? According to Dr. Steven Nissen, a cardiologist with 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.” Basically, the FDA’s recommendation is to take the least possible amount of the medication for the least possible amount of time.

Those who should be concerned about their use of NSAIDs include patients with a history of heart disease, heart attack, heart surgery, high blood pressure, or chronic pain – particularly those older than 65. The risks are estimated to generally increase when taking ibuprofen or naproxen as follows:

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

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

Here at Regency Home Care of North Atlanta, safety is our top priority, so you can rest assured that we’re staying on top of issues like this that may have an impact on the seniors in our care. In fact, we offer a free in-home safety assessment, just for the asking. Call us at 678-999-2446 or complete our simple online contact form to learn more about how our North Atlanta home care experts can improve the safety and wellbeing of your senior loved ones.