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CONSUMERS SHOULD FOLLOW SAFETY TIPS FOR NEW OVER-THE-COUNTER PAIN PILL

 TWINSBURG, Ohio, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The Food and Drug Administration's decision this week to make a popular prescription pain reliever available over-the-counter gives consumers access to a very potent drug.
 "Dose per dose, naproxen sodium is more effective for pain and joint inflammation than aspirin," said Bimal Dassani, pharmacist- in-charge of the Garfield Heights Revco drug store at 5680 Turney Road. "However, our experience with this drug is that it can cause heartburn and stomach problems, especially in people who have had ulcers or are predisposed to them."
 Dassani said the drug has become very popular over the 18 years it has been available by prescription. He said it is particularly effective for muscle aches, arthritis and menstrual cramps.
 "Because naproxen is so potent, patients will have to follow the warning labels very carefully," said Dassani. "The FDA is recommending that consumers take only one tablet every 8 to 12 hours and has asked the manufacturer to include warning labels for children and the elderly, who don't always follow recommended dosages.
 "Since this has been a prescription item, naproxen might interact with other prescription drugs a patient is taking. We're suggesting that patients tell their doctor or pharmacist before taking the drug."
 Dassani said patients are already asking about the drug, which should be available this spring under the product name, "Aleve" from Procter & Gamble.
 "Typically when a long-standing prescription drug is approved for over-the-counter use we answer a lot more questions about the medication," said Dassani. "In this case, it is important that people don't become too comfortable with the drug and not follow important label warnings and instructions from the manufacturer. If people have questions about this or any other over-the-counter drug, they should ask their pharmacist."
 Dassani said this week's FDA action is an ongoing trend by the government to give the public more access to drugs that have traditionally been available by prescription only. "I think you will see more of this from the FDA in the next year or two," said Dassani. "Certain drugs in the medication classes of anti-ulcer drugs and antihistamines will probably be the next drugs made available over-the- counter."
 Revco currently operates more than 1,200 drug stores in nine contiguous eastern states, and fills more than 50 million prescriptions annually. Based in Twinsburg, Ohio, the Company has annual sales in excess of $2.3 billion and trades on the New York Exchange under the symbol RXR.
 -0- 1/13/94
 /CONTACT: Mark Weinberg, director of public relations, of Revco D.S. Inc., 216-425-9811, or Kevin Donahue of Dix & Eaton, 216-241-0405, for Revco/
 (RXR)


CO: Revco D.S. Inc. ST: Ohio IN: REA SU:

CM -- CL009 -- 1062 01/13/94 11:59 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 13, 1994
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