Anti-inflammatory medications and their side-effects
Vioxx withdrawn from market: Risk of heart attack and stroke.
The best example of an anti-inflammatory medication that actually had to be withdrawn from the market because of its strong side-effects is Vioxx. The Merck pharmaceutical company withdrew its arthritis painkiller Vioxx from the market.
The reason: The medicine increased the risk of heart attack and stroke. It was celebrated on its release- Vioxx, the new medicine for joint pain (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.) Vioxx belonged to a class of medicines designated as Cyclooxygenase-2, or COX-2 Inhibitors.
This is a class of anti-inflammatory medications. The US regulatory authority the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its intention to check other products in the same category of medicines (Cyclooxygenase-2 or COX-2 Inhibitors) for increased risk of serious heart problems.
Heaven knows whether these medicines have now all been checked and are actually so much safer than Vioxx.
Pharmaceutical experts were asking questions about the possible cardiovascular impacts of these medicines even as they were introduced. At that time, in 1999, it was said that there were no conclusions to hand on this. In the studies leading to the passing of Vioxx, there were said to have been no indications of an increased risk.
But the suppositions did not appear plucked out of the air even then. As early as 2000 a further study showed that there was an increased risk of cardiovascular events. But it was emphasised again and again that no connection with heart and circulatory disease was found and the first results of the APPROVe-Study, which could not in fact find any increased risk after 18 months, were quoted to support this.
Another 18 months later things looked different. A three-year trial (APPROVe) showed the increased risk of cardiovascular incidents beginning after 18 months of treatment with Vioxx.
Other side-effects of Cyclooxygenase-2 or COX-2 Inhibitors.
It's not just strokes or heart attacks that have to be considered as possible side-effects. A recent study proves that the percentage of minor side-effects in patients given Celecoxib, for example, amounted to 4.8% (stomach pains), 4.8% (symptoms of disturbed digestion) and 2.4% (nausea.)
The example of Vioxx poses a few basic questions:
- Shouldn't the weighing-up of effects and side-effects be done even more carefully? With Vioxx the risk of a heart attack or stroke is far too high. But other rheumatism medicines give rise to stomach bleeds in 1 in 100 patients.
- Why is it not openly stated that an effective medication does also have unwanted side-effects? The pharmacologist Kay Brune notes in the Süddeutsche Zeitung 'For a long time the industry thought these medicines were so harmless that they could be employed for as long and in as high a dose as one wished. But, as always with effective chemically manufactured substances, this was a fallacy.'
- One has to assume that most powerful rheumatism medications on the market- namely Cyclooxygenase-2 or COX-2 Inhibitors- have the same or similar side-effects as Vioxx.
- There are as good as no long-term studies with this type of medication.
Weaker anti-inflammatory medicines- Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAID)
These include, for example, aspirin, diclofenac, etodalac, indometacin, naproxen, ibuprofen and piroxicam. These are classic NSAIDs currently prescribed for symptomatic treatment of inflammatory rheumatisms and osteoarthritis.
But these NSAIDs show certain unwanted side-effects and have a particular tendency to induce the formation of ulcers in the stomach or gut (Goodman and Gilman, The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 9th ed, McGraw Hill.) These unwanted side-effects are connected to the inhibition of the enzyme cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1), a constitutive isoform. A further great disadvantage is that the medication has to be administered over a long period of time, especially in the treatment of chronic ailments.
Stomach pains or digestive disruption are just the beginning when taking NSAIDs, followed by severe side-effects in the stomach and gut areas. Hence a recent study showed that the percentages of minor side-effects in patients given NSAIDs amounted to 6.2% (stomach pains), 5.8% (symptoms of disturbed digestion) and 3.4% (nausea.)
At present there is no anti-inflammatory medicine which is side-effect-free. In the case of NSAIDs it can be said that this range of medicines are, in comparison to OCW - Old-Clear-Wise, relatively weak and, depending on the condition of the stomach, will cause the complaints named above after just two weeks. Long-term use is therefore unthinkable. They also add significant ulcers in the stomach and gut areas to your Alzheimer's and it is very questionable whether these medications would show an effect for your purposes.
The more powerful anti-inflammatory medications, Cyclooxygenase-2 or COX-2 Inhibitors, carry an increased risk of serious heart problems, as well as circulatory complaints. Moreover, they add stomach and gut ulcers to your Alzheimer's- a position you surely do not want to be in.
In addition, these powerful anti-inflammatory medications are only available on prescription.
The solution is OCW - Old-Clear-Wise
With OCW - Old-Clear-Wise you avoid all these health risks. OCW - Old-Clear-Wise was specifically developed for Alzheimer's disease: it is a powerful anti-inflammatory and has no side-effects whatsoever.