New Warning Labels for Pain Relievers - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

New Warning Labels for Pain Relievers

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Prescription pain medications are going to come with stronger warnings.

The FDA now wants labels to caution that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDS cause an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

"Previously the warnings stated that these drugs may cause an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. They are also going to say that the risk can happen in the first few weeks of using these drugs,” says Dr. Tara Narula of Lenox Hill Hospital.

The drugs are widely used to treat pain for chronic problems such as arthritis, back pain, headaches and muscle aches. 

"People who have had heart attacks and stroke or people who have risk factors for heart attack that are at the highest risk, but what this highlights is that everybody is at risk." 

Over-the-counter NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen are also in for new labels that include more information about cardiovascular risks. 

The association that represents nonprescription drugmakers promises to work with federal regulators and says these over-the-counter pain relievers have a long history of safety when used as directed.

The FDA recommends patients take the lowest effective dose of pain killers for the shortest amount of time possible.

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