Attention: Users of Arthritis or Pain Relieving Drugs!!
Fort Wayne, Indiana is not unlike most other cities in these United States. Doctors and Chiropractors are looking for ways to bring relief to those with arthritis and pain. In 1999 the FDA awarded Merck a license to sell a new drug called VIOXX, a COX 2 Inhibitor. Dorothy Hamill, Olympic Figure Skating champion, once advertised this product. It was the best selling pain reliever of all time. However, September 2004, Vioxx was abruptly ripped from the market shelves leaving people scrambling for a replacement. BUT Vioxx worked! Why? Vioxx was found to greatly increase death by heart attacks and stroke. Merck researchers knew about it in 1996 but never reported it. What was the next best thing? CELEBREX!! In December of 2004 Pfizer released information admitting that Celebrex also had increased risk of heart attacks and stroke. Pfizer made another drug called BEXTRA, which had the same, increased side effects. In 2005 the FDA asked Pfizer to voluntarily withdraw Bextra.
Doctors and patients had to turn to the “perceived” safer drugs. NSAIDs had long been the standard years before COX 2 Inhibitors. After all, aspirin, naproxen, ibuprophen and ketoprofens are over-the-counter drugs, they must be safe. January 2005, The Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology stated, “not only do NSAIDs cause deadly stomach complications, but the extent of impact on the small intestine was largely unknown until now.” Stomach damage deaths alone reach 16,000 families yearly. The American Journal of Medical Sciences also reported Acute Renal Failure due to NSAIDs in 2001.
Acetaminophen has its own problems. While “seemingly safe” to the stomach, bowel and kidney, there was a recall of all children’s Tylenol products manufactured in early 2008 because of bacterial and mold contamination issued in September 2009. Then in December 2009, it was suggested that all acetaminophen products be recalled, including Vicodan or Hydrocodone Bitartrate, and Darvocet because of the risk of liver failure. I have not seen any report of this suggestion since that time.
Yes, Medical Doctors have a really tough time finding solutions for their patient’s pain when drugs have so many side effects, known and unknown. The Annals of Internal Medicine reported a possible source of help, Chiropractors, because 70% of their patients received relief from their pain through Chiropractic care without the risks or side effects of drugs.