Skip to comments.Studies on Painkillers In Jeopardy
Posted on 12/26/2004 8:16:14 AM PST by neverdem
Researchers Assess Risk-Benefit Ratio
The spate of bad news about painkillers has dealt a major setback to what had been a highly promising effort to use the drugs to prevent a host of leading killers, including many types of cancer, Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.
Since concerns emerged that drugs such as Vioxx and Celebrex might cause heart attacks and strokes, researchers testing the drugs in dozens of studies have been frantically scouring whatever data they have gathered so far for signs of danger, urgently debating whether the trials should continue, and quickly informing participants of possible risks.
Several large studies have shut down fully or partially, including trials for preventing colon cancer, prostate cancer, Alzheimer's and, just last week, two large international studies evaluating Celebrex to cut the risk of getting breast cancer or suffering a recurrence. Other studies have been temporarily suspended until all participants could be warned of the possible danger.
Overall, the startling new concerns about the drugs' safety have cast a pall over what had been one of the most exciting fields of biomedical research, which was trying to harness important new insights into the underlying cause of a wide spectrum of illnesses.
"It's definitely been a big setback," said Raymond N. DuBois of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville. "It's really disappointing because there had been a lot of enthusiasm in this area, and a lot of trials were underway. I think this is going to slow things down considerably. It's really unfortunate."
The developments are particularly distressing because a large body of evidence indicates the drugs could provide significant benefits aside from relieving pain. Even the studies that revealed the possible heart disease and stroke risks produced evidence that the approach could be highly effective for reducing the risk for cancer.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Pain is ONE thing.....getting to the BOTTOM of WHERE the pain originates is another.....I know....I'm in that process....it ain't fun....BUT, I refuse to listen much to the allopathic docs who just push drugs - as their solutions are sometimes worse than nothing.....I WANT to know WHY there is a PROBLEM, and get rid of THAT problem! (Right now I'm working with enzymes among other things.)
Answer: This drug used for rheumatoid arthritis can increase your risk of malignant lymphoma by 71%, and can also reactivate dormant tuberculosis infections.
Question: What is Remicade.
YEP.....THAT'S why I'm looking at alternatives....I've been diagnosed with R/A....and the Rheumy doc would just LOVE to give me some of the drugs out there.....NO WAY!
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
Seems the participants in this study were over the age of 70, and already had succeptibility to heart trouble.
My question is: Why were these facts left out of the original story?
Pain killers are bad because they mask the symtoms and allow you to ignore the cure.
But here we are talking about anti inflamatories which in many cases is the cure.
The ambiguities of a particular drugs effect upon body systems must be weighed in any given patient circumstance. Aspirin is also a COX inhibitor, yet it is used extensively to "prevent" heart attacks. Theoreticaly there are anticoagulant effects of COX1 inhibitors, and pro-coagulant effects from COX2 inhibitor. Although minor, they show up when examining large groups of people. It is important not to ban a drug for this, but that the physician keep this in mind when selecting a COX inhibitor for a patient in need.
And by the way, the main reason drug costs are so high is that they are out of the capitalist system. The answer is to put (almost) all non-controlled substances OVER THE COUNTER... as in most other countries. Doctors would still be needed, and the prices of the drugs (d/t competition) would plummet.
I can't answer your question about the tests. However, my wife and some of her co-workers aged in 40's & 50's were showing heart problem symptoms on Vioxx.
YES, inflamation is a major part of my problem....which is also what Naproxen really helps with, but it also can burn a hole in your stomach. I probably have "leaky gut syndrome" I believe.....so am trying to approach "cure" from THAT standpoint.
I am in the beginnings of all this (past 6 months).....right now am trying wobenyzm N (enzyme) and doxycycline......have added gluc chondroiton occasionally, but with so many pills it sometimes doesn't make it. What is "next level?" All I could find in a cursory google search is an animal medicine.....I am also beginning a total vegetable/small amount of fruit diet.....well, trying to.....with problems I've had over the years, it seems like my intestines must be the issue (asthma type stuff, nasal polyps, colon polyps, food allergies, etc.) I'm reading a lot on Dr. Mercola's website too....if you haven't seen it, you might be interested.
Please put me on your list--my next book is going to be about health care and how lay-people can be proactive in their health care, determine alternatives to drugs when appropriate, figure out what the 'studies' mean, etc.
Much interesting info in this article!
Well, I buy Next Level by the quart ($39) and it does say equine on the bottle. Mail order or feed store, your choice. Occasionally I have to share it with one of our horses.They have the same stuff in capsules for humans but costs more (I visualize tiny little funnels, tiny little hands into little capsules). On line or health food store for these guys.
Next Level: Per Oz. (daily horse maintenance level, teaspoon works for me)
Glucosamine 5000 mg
MSM 1750 mg
Ester C 1000 mg
Perna Mussel 3.5 mg
Shark Cartilage 14.5 mg
Bromelain 37 mg
(an ezyme, aids absorbtion)
Hmmm.....did you say you had RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS? Or some other kind? Just wondering......told my husband about your medicine....he said...."better keep that info." I'll check with my wholistic doc and see what he says. LOL.
My son is on disability, he is so crippled up with RA. One thing he's learned is to completely eliminate all night shades from his diet, including tomatoes and peppers. When he does eat one of them, he sure suffers from it.
Yes, I have heard that.....just had fish soup for dinner with TOMATOES and RED peppers......I've also heard that it's an old wives tale, but I'm inclined to believe people when they say it works for them......I'll try it. Thanks.
It is my understanding that RA is an autoimmune disease. Is it ever treated with immunosuppressants like Immuran / Azathioprine, and do they help much?
May God bless you. I hope you had a Merry Christmas. Happy New Year!
Rheumatoid arthritis? I really don't know. Ten years ago I had a knee operation and the doctor said I had about three things going on but never went into which particular arthritis. I look at Next Level as a vitamin supplement that I will take the rest of my life, along with a vitamin pill.
Interesting....I had bunion surgery....Before it I was beginning to have ham string problems, but the surgery just EXPLODED the problem all over my body.
Don't know about the treatments of which you speak....I'm using doxycycline and lots of other "natural" things to beef up my immune system....but, what I REALLY think is going on is a leaky gut problem, because I've always eaten healthy, exercised, etc.
Thanks for your info.....yes I have been diagnosed with RA (although I do not have the RA positive factor), and as far as I'm concerned you are partially right....the immune system is over-REACTING to an invader, so there are immunity problems, however, I do not think "beefing" up my immune system in the way I am is the problem. The problem is WHAT is causing my immune system to react the way it is....that's what I'm trying to get to the bottom of. Knowing my history.....food allergies, asthma like reactions, colon polyps, etc. over the last 15 years I really do think there might be something to the "leaky gut" problem for me. I'm not one of those who NEEDS an IMMEDIATE FIX just to feel better (although it sure would be nice)...I need a long term solution for my health. Are you a doctor/pharmacist? Just wondering.
I looked at your info on Imuran and did other searches.....I'll bring it up with my doc, but from the possible side effects, it looks like a last resort....I'm still going to pursue other avenues first. Thanks again.
Dr. Gott recommends Certo
I have been taking Daypro (oxaprozine) 600mg for osteoarthritis for about 8 years now. This is in the nonsteroidal anti inflammatory family of drugs. I have not heard it mentioned in any of all this hoopla. Anyone have any information on Daypro and the long term use?
A Ken Jennings doping scandal? ;o)
I have R/A also. Celibrex did squat for me. One Naproxen pill,twice a day works for me. It keeps the pain to a managable level. However my spelling is still crap!
Your spelling is a little off. Check related links as well as enter the following :
oxaprozin, adverse effects
Try that in the first link below. There were 45 citations for oxaprozin, adverse effects. This is the first of the 45. I didn't look at the other 44. The main risk from all NSAIDS is ulcers with GI bleeding and kidney failure. That's why getting this stuff over the counter is problematic for people that take them on a chronic basis. You need to see a doc periodically to make sure that there isn't occult blood in your stool and to check your blood. Daypro, oxaprozin, came off smelling like a rose in this citation, BTW.
If some words leave you stumped, here's Dorland's Medical Dictionary.
There is no question that Imuran is dangerous, but in my case the only alternative is the steroid Prednisone, and the long-term side-effects of that puppy makes Imuran look like Jujyfruits. (I try to avoid taking drugs that have their very own psychosis associated with them.) I've been on Imuran for a couple of years with no obvious side-effects, and I follow the safety regime religiously - regular blood tests and dermatologist visits, and yearly cancer screenings.
If you can avoid getting on Imuran, you should, as it is very much a second-to-last resort. I just thought that you should know the information, in case it might spare you some pain.
How's your stomach? From my reading Nsaids and antibiotics (I'm taking both) are bad for those with R/A that might be caused by leaky gut....i.e. intestinal permiability problems (which I'm starting to believe is MY problem.) My doc has me taking DGL to help with the stomach problem. And, I'm trying to take Naproxen once every 4 days.....I'm not much fun after the 2nd day!
How's my stomach? FAT! LOL!
Serious: I make sure to take my meds with food so I don't have stomach problems. When I was first diagnosed with R/A my R-Factor was 289. I was put on Prednasone and Methothrexate. The Methothrexate did not play nice with my heart meds and I spent 2 days in the heart floor of the hospital. Now I take Prednasone with Sulfazine EC to treat the R/A, and Naproxen with Tylenol twice a day to keep the pain in check.
Naproxen WITH TYLENOL? Hmmm.....I have NO R-factor....so, what mine is, although called R/A....is suspect. I'm dreaming of a day without pain, and without drugs. That day WILL come.....it's just that the mystery has yet to be solved. My Rheumy doc actually gave me some stomach meds WHEN he gave me the Naproxen....saying "You WILL need these." How long have you been on the Naproxen?
I started in September. Before that I was on Celibrex twice a day. That did nothing for the pain. At least now I can walk for 10 minutes at a time.
Check out http://www.orthop.washington.edu/arthritis . Best site I found for information.
"I'm reading a lot on Dr. Mercola's website too...."
Dr Mercola's site is good - http://www.mercola.com/
Also, Univ of Maryland site for Alternative/Complementary Medicine is good for info on Conditions, Herbs, Supplements, Drugs, Depletions, Treatment Options, plus more - http://www.umm.edu/altmed/ This is almost surprising, considering it is from a main-stream medicine facility. They tell you a lot more about Herbs and Supplements than those who sell them can tell you. All in all, I have been impressed with the caliber of the info there.
"Well, I buy Next Level by the quart ($39) and it does say equine on the bottle."
That equine stuff IS good for us too. MSM is an oxidized form of DMSO, readily available at reasonable prices from your equine meds supplier, and you are probably familiar with its benefits. DMSO can be used to treat horses by applying topically, internally by ingestion, intravenously. Anti-inflammatorys can be applied to aching joints by dissolving in DMSO and then applying topically (equine joints, of course). This avoids stomach distress that often results from ingestion of anti-inflammatorys.
We have a young filly who had a severe head injury when a couple of days old. We nearly lost her, but the Vet treated her with DMSO, diluted 50/50 with normal saline and injected directly into the carotid artery. This reduced the swelling in her brain, and also increased the oxygen supply to the brain. The effects were miraculous. Here is a web site http://www.krysalis.net/dmso.htm that gives some other interesting stuff on DMSO.
Needless to say, we keep DMSO on hand, and once in a while some of it might even be used to treat one of our horses. :)
"...Shark Cartilage 14.5 mg..."
It does not have to be shark cartilage. Cook a chicken, add all the bony parts to a pan with water and make stock. You will get all the good stuff out of the chicken cartilage, and it may even be better. Stock made from a pot full of chicken feet is really good stuff.
Check out this site, http://www.krysalis.net/rheumatism.htm where the use of L-Lysine to treat RA is described. Rather than say more, I recommend you read the info.
I went thru 2 (very expensive) Remicade treatments in early 2002 and sufferered no bad sideffects, except my nose would start running sometimes for no reason. Completely put a severe Crohn's episode into remission> I felt so good that within 6 months I was 20 lbs overweight , which I did not like at all.
Unforunately, circumstances, like my excellent GI leaving my health program, and me aquiring a tech job part time that gave no heath bennies until I had been there 6 months; couldnt have been a worse time for a relapse, and the relapse was worse than ever (brought on by food poisoning or virus Nov 2003...
By the time I went thru all the red tape and hoops of getting coverage and seeing docs (and repeating a the tests (CTSCAN, etc.) the inflammation had spread to my kidney and caused an large e.coli (yikes)abcess near my lower spinal column.
Remicade at that point could have been fatal, because of my severe secondary infections, so the only alt was resection of the inflammed area (a small area of my lower small bowel where a fistual was found also)...
Now that's a whole 'nother story.
At least vicious pain of the Crohn's is gone, though it will still take me a few months to get back to fighting trim.
After my surgeries I first saw a remicade commercial in the hospital. Did'nt know whether to laugh or throw my food tray at the TV...LOL
I doubt I'll ever need/want remicade ever again.
MY sympathies for all Freepers with RA, IBS and Crohn's/Colitis. I hope you all get better!!
Sorry for all you have been through. Crohn's is a hard disease to live with. Hopefully there will be new safer drugs developed that will help.
"Sorry for all you have been through. Crohn's is a hard disease to live with. Hopefully there will be new safer drugs developed that will help."
I think you meant this reply for "wolficatZ"...
WolficatZ - later today I will forward you some info re Crohn's and the various viral/bacterial bouts via FReep Mail. I have some interesting info, and will include URL's for the info.