Launch of Launch the Alliance for Rational Use of NSAIDs

NSAIDs are one of the most commonly used medications in the United States for pain relief and reduction of fever and inflammation. NSAIDs, available by prescription and sold over-the-counter (OTC) by brand and generic names, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, are generally safe when used properly. However, as with all medications, NSAIDs are not without risks and can cause significant and even life-threatening adverse events that affect gastrointestinal (digestive system), renal (kidney) and cardiovascular (heart) health. To guide appropriate use and lessen the risk of adverse events, the FDA and medical societies strongly recommend that all NSAIDs should be administered at the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration of time, while taking into account patient-specific risk factors and clinical needs. However, implementation of this guidance is lacking and the Alliance for Rational Use of NSAIDs aims to change that. The availability and use of OTC NSAIDs complicates adherence to guidance and impacts the safe use of NSAID products. In an observational study of osteoarthritis patients, over 90 percent of patients were at increased gastrointestinal or cardiovascular risk, but more than half of those patients were prescribed OTC NSAIDs not in accordance with current guidelines or regulatory recommendations. While driving appropriate use of NSAIDs is imperative to prevent greater public health concerns, the Alliance recognizes the value NSAIDs serve in the pain community. Fear of side effects should not prevent people from taking NSAIDs, since untreated pain can become a serious health issue as well. Instead, it is important to be attentive to ensure that those taking NSAIDs are taking the lowest dose for the shortest duration of time.
http://www.nsaidalliance.com/