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All about: Novasal

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Generic name: Magnesium salicylate tetrahydrate
Brand names: Novasal

Why is Novasal prescribed?

Novasal is an aspirin-like drug used to relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Most important fact about Novasal

As with all aspirin-like drugs, Novasal should be avoided if you have liver damage, blood clotting problems, or vitamin K deficiency, or if you're scheduled to have surgery.

How should you take Novasal?

Take Novasal tablets exactly as prescribed. Do not take more without first checking with your doctor, even if higher doses make you feel better. Taking too much Novasal can cause serious side effects.

--If you miss a dose...

Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule.

--Storage instructions...

Store at room temperature.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue using Novasal.

  • More common side effects may include:
    Blood in the stool, blood clotting problems, low blood sugar, ringing in the ears, stomach bleeding, stomach pain

Why should Novasal not be prescribed?

If you are especially sensitive to Novasal or to any of its ingredients, you should not take Novasal. Make sure that your doctor knows about any drug reactions you have experienced.

You should not use Novasal if you have advanced or chronic kidney disease or take antigout drugs such as probenecid (Benemid).

If you are 65 or older, you should not take Novasal if you have chronic liver disease, carditis (inflammation of the heart muscle), or have ever had a stomach ulcer or severe stomach inflammation. Also avoid the drug if you are sensitive to aspirin or similar drugs, if you've taken aspirin regularly in the past, or if you take drugs that prevent blood clotting.

Special warnings about Novasal

Novasal can interfere with blood clotting. Make sure your doctor knows if you have blood clotting problems or vitamin K deficiency, or if you're scheduled to have surgery. Also let the doctor know if you have liver problems.

Be aware that if you have diabetes or you're receiving hemodialysis, Novasal may lower your blood sugar.

If you're over 65 and take high doses of Novasal, your doctor will monitor your blood levels of magnesium to make sure they do not become too high. In addition, your doctor may want you to stop taking other drugs that contain magnesium. This also applies if you have kidney problems.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Novasal

If Novasal is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either may be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Novasal with the following:

Antigout medications such as probenecid (Benemid)
Aspirin
Barbiturates such as secobarbital (Seconal)
Blood-thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin)
Diabetes medications known as sulfonylureas, such as glyburide (Micronase)
Diuretics such as spironolactone (Aldactone)
Magnesium-containing drugs
Methotrexate (Rheumatrex)
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or other pain relievers
Phenytoin (Dilantin)

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

You should not use Novasal if you are pregnant. Novasal is similar to aspirin, and studies show that aspirin increases the risk of stillbirth and death shortly after birth. Aspirin can also lengthen pregnancy and prolong labor. Taking Novasal in the last 3 months of pregnancy could cause fatal lung damage to the baby. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately.

Drugs such as Novasal can enter breast milk and affect a nursing baby. If Novasal is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you not to breastfeed until your treatment is finished.

Recommended dosage

ADULTS

The starting dose is one 600-milligram tablet taken 3 or 4 times a day. Depending on your response, the doctor may tell you to take as many as 6 to 8 tablets daily.

CHILDREN

Novasal is not recommend for use in children.

OLDER ADULTS

If you are 65 or older, your doctor will prescribe the lowest dose that relieves your symptoms to prevent possible side effects or overdose.

Overdosage

If you suspect an overdose, seek emergency treatment immediately. Even a single overdose of Novasal can be fatal.

  • Early symptoms of overdose may include:
    Confusion, diarrhea, difficulty hearing, dim vision, dizziness, drowsiness, excessive thirst, exhaustion, headache, nausea, rapid breathing, ringing in the ears, sweating, vomiting

If you are 65 or older, you are less likely to notice the early warning signs of an overdose. Be especially watchful for any of the above symptoms, as prompt treatment is important.

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