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Asthma Health Center

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Everyday Pain Relief: Asthma

Many common over-the-counter pain relief drugs can cause harmful side effects, such as breathing problems, for people with asthma. Here's what you need to know.

The Pros and Cons of Pain-Relief Drugs continued...

KETOPROFEN
Actron

  • 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.

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