The government has cleared the way for the over-the-counter sale of the drug ketoprofen for relief of headaches, body aches and arthritis. It will be marketed under the name Actron by aspirin maker Bayer.
Ketoprofen is similar to drugs already on the market but it will be useful for people who don’t get adequate relief from those medications. The Food and Drug Administration sent Bayer word of its approval on Monday.
Ketoprofen has been in prescription formulations in 27 countries for more than 20 years. Although it has been available in the United States only by prescription, Bayer said, more than 900 million doses have been bought since 1986.
Bayer said Actron is more powerful than acetaminophen or ibuprofen, both widely used pain relievers that can be bought from drugstore shelves.