Alliance aims to support safe and appropriate use of NSAIDs, encouraging patients and prescribers to embrace "the lowest effective dose for the shortest period of time" approach
Las Vegas, NV – To coincide with PAINWeek 2012, the Western Pain Society, the largest regional society of the American Pain Society, in partnership with HealthyWomen, announced today the launch of the Alliance for Rational Use of NSAIDs. The Alliance will serve as a public health coalition of professional and patient organizations, clinicians and other relevant stakeholders committed to supporting the safe and appropriate use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
The Alliance is organized under the auspices of the Western Pain Society in partnership with:
• American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
• American Academy of Physician Assistants
• American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
• American Chronic Pain Association
• National Council on Patient Information and Education
• National Kidney Foundation
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.
"Failure to comply with NSAID medical guidance is common, but taking NSAIDs inappropriately can pose major health risks for those managing pain and inflammation," said Dr. Bill McCarberg, president of the Western Pain Society and Chair of the Alliance for Rational NSAID Use. "As NSAID use continues to grow in an aging America, we hope to bridge the gap between the medical guidance and real-world use of NSAIDs."
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.
"When used as directed NSAIDs are effective at reducing pain and inflammation, but the gap between the recommended dose and the real dose cannot be ignored," said Beth Battaglino, RN, executive director of HealthyWomen. "Through this partnership we will be able to lend our voice as the trusted, go-to health resource for women, to encourage them to adhere to the lowest dose for the shortest period of time for both themselves and their families."
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.
For more information about the Alliance for Rational Use of NSAIDs, or to become an Alliance partner, visit: www.NSAIDAlliance.com.
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About the Alliance for Rational Use of NSAIDs
The Alliance for Rational Use of NSAIDs is a public health coalition dedicated to the safe and appropriate use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The Alliance aims to bridge the gap between guidance and clinical practice, educating health care professionals and the public at-large on the and appropriate use of NSAID therapy—maximizing benefits while reducing risks, and improving health care delivery. To learn more or to get involved, visit www.NSAIDAlliance.com.
HealthyWomen (HW) is the nation's leading nonprofit health information source for women. For nearly 25 years, women have been coming to HW for answers to their most pressing and personal health care questions. HW provides award-winning health information through a wide array of online content and print publications that are original, objective and reviewed and approved by medical experts. Its HON-certified website, www.HealthyWomen.org®, has been recognized by ForbesWoman as one of the "Top 100 Websites for Women" for the third year in a row and was named the top women's health website by Dr. Mehmet Oz in O, The Oprah Magazine. To learn more, visit www.HealthyWomen.org.