Naproxen belongs to a class of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. This basically means it's a common pain reliever among the ranks of ibuprofen (Motrin), indomethacin (Indocin), nabumentone (Relafen), and several others you are probably familiar with. Naproxen, which is sold over the counter as Aleve, is used to manage mild to moderate pain, fever, and inflammation. It works by reducing the production of pain chemicals in the brain. Naproxen was approved by the FDA in December, 1991.
Naproxen (Aleve) has been very successful because it has a longer half-life than many other drugs, resulting in as long as 12-hour pain relief. Because it thins the blood, it should not be used in conjunction with any blood thinners or blood pressure lowering drugs. Beyond a few cases negative reactions, such as increased rate of lithium toxicity, Naproxen has been enjoyed widespread use without many visible problem.
However, in December of 2004 the FDA issued a press release describing a National Institutes of Health survey. The five-year study, in which Alzheimer's Disease patients were administered high dosages of Naproxen, had to be halted early because early in the trial 50% of the patients had suffered heart attacks and strokes. As a result, the FDA advised patients taking Aleve to follow the instructions carefully, avoid exceeding recommended doses, and to stop using the medication after 10 days.
The FDA will be analyzing all available information about Naproxen's contribution to the risk of heart disease and stroke. If it finds that the company producing Naproxen and Aleve has produced a dangerous product, further regulatory action may be needed. If you feel you have suffered adversely from the use of Naproxen or Aleve, especially if you have suffered heart palpitations, heart attack, or stroke, contact a lawyer immediately so that your voice can be heard in the eventual verdict.
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