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Drug concerns halt major Alzheimer's trial

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BETHESDA, Md., Dec 21, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- An increased risk of heart attack and stroke from the drug naproxen halted a major U.S. study on Alzheimer's disease prevention.

Since 2001, approximately 2,400 volunteer participants in six U.S. cities were randomly assigned to receive naproxen, celecoxib, or placebo for periods of time up to three years in the trial sponsored by the National Institute on Aging.

The trial was designed to assess the potential benefit of long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in decreasing the risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease in people 70 years of age or older who were considered at increased risk because of family history but did not have symptoms of the disease.

In the meantime, the Food and Drug Administration issued an advisory to patients currently taking over-the-counter naproxen products to follow the instructions on the label carefully. It said patients should not exceed the recommended dosage of 220 milligrams twice daily, and should not take naproxen for longer than 10 days unless a physician directs otherwise.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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