Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

Networking For A Better Future - News and perspectives you may not find in the media

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December 21, 2004

Eliminating Painkillers - Naproxen To Follow Vioxx, Celebrex

Management of chronic pain is getting more difficult - at least the much touted chemical route seems to be turning into a rather rocky path, with several of the "blockkbuster" painkillers showing stunning rates of increase of heart trouble after Vioxx was recently withdrawn from the market. According to a recent Health News article, the FDA has just halted a clinical trial involving Naproxen, as signs emerged that the drug seems to be a cause of increasing heart trouble just like its cousins.

Of course this brings us to a painful question: Should we at all routinely "manage pain" or is it perhaps time to look at underlying mechanisms, to find out what causes the pain and remedy that underlying cause? Certainly pain is an important indicator that something is not right. But would you plaster a piece of paper over the red light in your car that indicates the oil in your motor is getting too hot? Certainly not. So why do we insist on "managing pain" as a routine strategy in healthcare, without a corresponding and vigorous investigation of what caused the pain in the first place, and a equally vigorous effort to eliminate whatever is found as the cause?

One of the great causes of pain is of course another class of drugs - statins - which are taken in order to "reduce cardiovascular risks". Millions of people take statins in a misguided effort to lower cholesterol, when again, cholesterol has never been shown to be the cause of cardiovascular events and lowering cholesterol has not been shown to lower the risk of having a heart attack. But one of the side effects of statins is atrocious muscle pain, enough to put a good part of those millions of statin users onto painkillers that - incredible but true - are found to cause heart attacks.

For now there is little cause for optimism, as research has been directed mainly into pharmaceutical strategies of "treating" disease, rather than into understanding and devising strategies to heal the underlying causes.

One non-pharmaceutical strategy that is emerging is pain relief through acupuncture.

Another bright spot is recent research into the mechanisms of arthritis, which promises a way to turn off the pain involved with the autoimmune reaction that causes the disease.

A more effective course of action on autoimmune diseases such as arthritis however would be to research and understand the regulatory mechanism of the immune system, something proposed by immunologist Thad Wendel. Such an advance would allow us to intervene in a more targetted way and perhaps eliminate much of the toxic "medicine" we routinely introduce into our bodies.

(originally from HEALTH NEWS)

Now It's Naproxen - Strike Three Against Athritis Pain Meds

Contributed by Carla Sharetto | 21 December, 2004  02:47 GMT

Still reeling from Merck's  withdrawal of Vioxx from the market and Pfizer's decision to stop advertising Celebrex, people who suffer from arthritis pain now have one more worry: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Monday that it was halting a clinical trial involving naproxen, sold under the brand names Naprosyn (Roche Pharmaceuticals) and Aleve (Bayer), due to increased cardiovascular risk.

The FDA released the following statement regarding its decision to end a clinical trial involving non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in patients at risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease:

FDA Statement on Naproxen

"The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working with the National Institutes of Health to review the available scientific information on naproxen following the decision of the National Institute on Aging to halt a clinical trial studying non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in patients at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

"Preliminary information from the study showed some evidence of increased risk of cardiovascular events, when compared to placebo, to patients taking naproxen.

"In the meantime, FDA advises patients who are currently taking over-the-counter naproxen products to carefully follow the instructions on the label. Patients should not exceed the recommended doses for naproxen (220 milligrams twice daily) and should not take naproxen for longer than ten days unless a physician directs otherwise. Patients with questions about naproxen should consult their physicians."

Naproxen was first sold as a prescription drug under the trade name Naprosyn in 1976. The FDA approved its use as an over-the-counter drug in 1994. It is frequently used to combat the pain of arthritis.

Arthritis Foundation Comments on COX-2 Inhibitors

Responding to the concerns over Vioxx and Celebrex that have shaken the pharmaceutical world in recent weeks, the Arthritis Foundation also advises arthritis sufferers to engage in a dialogue with their healthcare practitioners.

"This is an opportunity for people taking COX-2 inhibitors to have a discussion with their doctor about medications and other approaches to treat their arthritis," said Dr. John H. Klippel, president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation. "In addition, people should pay attention to the importance of exercise or weight loss in the management of arthritis. And for some people who really are impaired by arthritis, this might be the time to even begin to think about surgery."

In the meantime, the Arthritis Foundation urges caution in the use of COX-2 inhibitors in people at risk for cardiovascular complications. The Arthritis Foundation recommends that people considering or taking COX-2 inhibitors work with their doctor to determine a treatment plan for their arthritis that is best for their individual situation.

While Vioxx has been recalled from the market, Celebrex is still available for use.

Good News About Acupuncture

Also in the news are findings of a study showing that acupuncture is an effective treatment for reducing pain and improving functionality in patients who have osteoarthritis of the knee.

Participants receiving acupuncture versus other treatment options had a 40 percent decrease in pain and a nearly 40 percent improvement in function compared to baseline assessments.

See also:

Vioxx and Celebrex Overprescribed to Millions of Americans - Vioxx and Celebrex were overprescribed to millions of Americans who took them specifically because they thought they were safer or more effective. Now it turns out far less expensive drugs were just as safe and effective.

Celebrex prescriptions sink after study links drugs to heart attack, strokes
(San Francisco Gate)
New prescriptions for Pfizer Inc. pain reliever Celebrex have fallen by more than half since a government-led study linked the drug to an increased risk of heart and strokes two weeks ago.

Study: Acupuncture Effective for Arthritis
Ancient Practice Relieves Pain, Improves Function in Knee Osteoarthritis

Dr Mercola: FDA Admits that ALL Anti-Inflammatories May Kill You
The FDA has finally admitted that the entire class of drugs known as NSAIDs are are expected to fall as a result of this new information. So that means that if you are taking Advial or any other NSAID, you will want to consider finding a healthier option ASAP, as the drug you are taking but actually take your life.

All Celebrex Ads Ruled "Misleading"

Hired Education
A hidden culprit in the drug scandals: the increasingly corporatized university.

1999 Trials Revealed Risks With Celebrex
New York Times - February 1, 2005
Celebrex, the popular arthritis and pain medicine from Pfizer, sustained another blow yesterday when the company acknowledged that a 1999 clinical trial found that elderly patients taking the drug were far more likely to suffer heart problems than patients taking a placebo.

Study links painkiller with hypertension
BEIJING, August 16, 2005 -- US reserchers find that women who take higher doses of common, over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen and even Tylenol have higher blood pressure than women who do not. The findings add to a growing list of research that suggests all painkillers, prescription and non-prescription, carry health risks and should be used carefully. The study, which looked at the medical records of more than 5,000 women -- aged 34 to 77 -- for up to eight years, found that those who took 500 milligrams or more of acetaminophen daily were twice as likely to develop high blood pressure as women who did not take the drug, according to the report in the Aug. 16 issue of Hypertension. Older women, aged 51 to 77, who took an average of 400 milligrams of ibuprofen a day were 80 percent more likely to develop high blood pressure than older women who did not take the drug. And younger women (aged 34 to 53) who took those daily doses were 60 percent more likely to develop high blood pressure, according to the study. Harvard researcher John P. Forman who led the study says the findings mean women should think twice about taking common pain relievers. Interestingly, the researchers did not find that aspirin increased women's chances of developing hypertension.


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Tuesday December 21 2004
updated on Wednesday December 8 2010

URL of this article:


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The recent withdrawal of Merck's blockbuster painkiller Vioxx may actually afford us a glimpse of a chain of events that is normally well hidden in research papers, at best selectively disclosed to the medical community. Vioxx and other new-generation painkillers such as Bextra and Celebrex have all come under fire for their tendency to cause an increase of heart attacks. Statin Drugs, such as Lipitor, Zocor, Pravachol, Lesocol and Mevacor... [read more]
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Vioxx Shows: FDA Unable To Protect Public From Deadly Medical Drugs
According to recent congressional testimony, "the FDA as currently configured is incapable of protecting America against another Vioxx. We are virtually defenceless," said David Graham, associate director of the agency's Office of Drug Safety. The quote is from an article published in South Africa, titled Doctor: FDA is too cosy with drug firms. The FDA is the national food and medicines regulatory agency of the US but it has been... [read more]
November 23, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger

Neurontin Suicides: FDA Still Turning A Deaf Ear Charges Rep Hinchey
Maurice Hinchey, Representative of the 22nd Congressional District of New York is calling for a thorough examination of the link between Neurontin, an anti-epilepsy drug that has been made a block-buster seller by off-label marketing, and suicides. The lawmaker blasted the FDA's failure to act in this matter in a letter to FDA acting Commissioner Lester Crawford dated 7 September 2004. According to a report by the Alliance for Human... [read more]
October 11, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger

Statins And Our Immune System
Further to LIPITOR, THIEF OF MEMORY Dr.Graveline has unraveled the impact of statins on the immune system. The implications of this are huge. This is a must read even though it is a bit technical for some (gets easier to understand as you read). His comments could just as easily be applied to many other drugs. "Tossing the statin sledgehammer into this system is perhaps quite comparable in effect to... [read more]
August 11, 2004 - Chris Gupta

Cholesterol Does Not Cause Coronary Heart Disease
Cholesterol Does Not Cause Coronary Heart Disease, Statins Don't Work by Lowering Lipids. The Role of Inflammation and Stress. Paul Rosch; MD, FACP, Clinical Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry, New York Medical College, President, The American Institute of Stress, Honorary Vice President, International Stress Management Association, 124 Park Ave.Yonkers, NY 10703, USA. 1. Increased dietary fat intake does not significantly elevate cholesterol or lipid levels. 2. Elevated serum cholesterol and/or... [read more]
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Most Pain Killers Deplete The Body Of The B Vitamin Folic Acid
With all negative news concerning Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAID's) and the Cox 2 inhibitors Vioxx, Celebrex and Naproxin, it is notable that all the experts - doctors and pharmacists - have failed to mention one salient fact. All of these drugs, including the oldest pain killer Asprin, deplete the body of the B vitamin Folic acid. Folic acid is one of the most common vitamin deficiencies and... [read more]
December 25, 2004 - Chris Gupta




Readers' Comments

Am I correct in believeing that Anti Inflamatories - may not themselves Spread Arthritis, merely encourages Arthritis to penetrate and spread -

Like a dodgy mechanic treating your cars first minor repair. - once under the bonnet,
-a permanent income stream becomes apparrent.

If Drug Companies "find" a cure and it is shown they have had knowledge of that cure for any length of time, but delayed using it - for fear of loosing PROFIT - they should be taken to the cleaners.. with the directors going to Guantanamo Bay

Posted by: AI Ransom on January 5, 2005 04:24 AM


My question is: Do anti-inflamatories have the only use of killing pain?

Posted by: Donalda Rees on October 31, 2005 05:28 PM


Try wikipedia, they have a quite complete article on

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Posted by: Sepp on October 31, 2005 05:43 PM


i have used celebrex and naproxen and a had a bad reaction to both of them is there any form of relief out there thats not drug related

Posted by: jesse heishman on February 3, 2006 05:51 PM


Thank you for your comment, Jesse, and the question.

Research on proper (no side effects) painkillers seems to be going quite slowly.

I googled and found an interesting article though:

Natural painkiller derived from a Chinese philodendron tree

Posted by: Sepp on February 4, 2006 07:44 PM


Recovered comment (some of them got swallowed up by the system)...

What we are waiting for? just restrict them to sell these biologically-ill remedies or else it is going to increase the heart patients, now wouldn't it?

Posted by: ??? on October 6, 2006 06:39 AM


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These articles are brought to you strictly for educational and informational purposes. Be sure to consult your health practitioner of choice before utilizing any of the information to cure or mitigate disease. Any copyrighted material cited is used strictly in a non commercial way and in accordance with the "fair use" doctrine.



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