Wichita Falls, TX - The next time you grab medication for a headache, backache or arthritis make sure to be aware of its safety information.
The United States Food and Drug Administration is strengthening an existing warning on prescription and over the counter drugs containing non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
"That's going to be Ibuprofen, which is Motrin, Aleve, which is Naproxen, and the prescription drug Celebrix will also be in that category," said Dr. Joe Beard, a pharmacist at Harvest Drug & Gift.
According to research conducted by the FDA, NSAIDS can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
"They've known for a long time that these drugs have carried this risk. What they don't know is that they accumulated a lot of data over time and expand on that risk," said Dr. Beard.
The FDA seeks inform people of the risks associated with using non-steroidal inflammatory drugs. The use of NSAIDS like all drugs have side-effects and as health studies have found it can increase the chance of heart attacks and strokes.
This new warning lets you the consumer know that you may experience risk in a shorter time then they previously thought.
"The greater the dose you take, the greater the risk you have. So if you're just taking one every now and then you'll probably be okay," said Dr. Beard.
Health experts said you can still take medication with NSAIDS but in moderation and if used properly.
"Things like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, those things are going to be bigger risk factors then taking an Ibuprofen or Aleve," said Dr. Beard.
So who has the greatest risk? The FDA says people with cardiovascular disease, people who recently had a heart attack or people who have undergone cardiac bypass surgery.
Here's what you can do to protect yourself:
* Carefully read drug labels
* Use medicine as directed
* Take the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time
* Consult with healthcare provider or pharmacist before taking any medicine
The best advice when taking NSAIDS is not to take more than one product at a time.