Asthma: Everyday Pain Relief (cont.)

KETOPROFEN
Actron, Orudis KT

  • How it works. Ketoprofen blocks the effects of chemicals that increase the feeling of pain.

  • Benefits. Ketoprofen can lower fevers, ease pain, and reduce inflammation.

  • Side effects and risks. People with asthma should not use ketoprofen if they have an alternative. In one in five people with asthma, it can cause worsening symptoms, which may need immediate treatment. If you have a bad reaction to ketoprofen or any other NSAID, you shouldn't use any without your doctor's permission. Some people may develop hives and facial swelling.

    Ketoprofen can cause heartburn, upset stomach, pain, and ulcers. It may also increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. The FDA requires drug companies to highlight these risks. This drug isn't safe during the last three months of pregnancy.

    In some cases, ketoprofen can slow down the body's natural healing process.

NAPROXEN
Aleve

  • How it works. Naproxen blocks the effects of chemicals that increase the feeling of pain.

  • Benefits. Naproxen can lower fevers, ease pain, and reduce inflammation.

  • Side effects and risks. People with asthma should not use naproxen if they have an alternative. In one in five people with asthma, it can cause worsening symptoms, which may need immediate treatment. If you have a bad reaction to naproxen or any other NSAID, you shouldn't use them without your doctor's permission. Some people may develop hives and facial swelling.

    A recent study seems to show a link between naproxen and an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. More research needs to be done before doctors know for sure. For now, ask your health care provider for advice.

    Naproxen can cause heartburn, upset stomach, pain, or ulcers. The FDA requires drug companies to highlight its risks. This drug isn't safe during the last three months of pregnancy.

    Naproxen can also slow down the body's natural healing process.

PRESCRIPTION PAINKILLERS

Many painkillers -- including higher doses of NSAIDs -- are available by prescription. Since they are more powerful versions of over-the-counter NSAIDs, they often have the same or greater risks. Some examples are Daypro, Indocin, Lodine, Naprosyn, Relafen, and Voltaren.

Cox-2 inhibitors are a newer kind of NSAID. These medicines have recently come under fire for their dangers. Although these drugs are supposed to have fewer gastrointestinal side effects than standard NSAIDs, they can still cause some of the same problems. They may also raise the risks of heart attacks and strokes.

Two of these drugs, Vioxx and Bextra, have been taken off the market because of various side effects. Celebrex is still available.

Narcotics are another type of prescription painkiller. Examples include OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin. These drugs are only used in people with severe chronic pain. They don't pose a risk for people with asthma. They do have other side effects, including constipation, fatigue, and a risk of addiction.

Published May 2005.

SOURCES: Phillip E. Korenblat, MD, spokesman, American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology; professor of clinical medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis. Byron Cryer, MD, spokesman, American Gastroenterological Association; associate professor of medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas. Nieca Goldberg, MD, spokesperson for the American Heart Association; chief of Women's Cardiac Care, Lennox Hill Hospital, New York. American Academy of Family Physicians. American Heart Association. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. American Gastroenterological Association. FDA. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Women's Health Information Center.

©1996-2005 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.
Last Editorial Review: 5/26/2005 5:44:47 PM



STAY INFORMED

Get the Latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!