Patients Accept Painkillers Risk
Tuesday, February 14th 2006
Arthritis sufferers from across the United States have pleaded with American advisers to keep their pain medicines, saying they are willing to risk heart problems for joint pain relief.
Judy Fogel, an arthritis patient who has been taking Pfizer's Celebrex for three years, said she had tried 10 other drugs to fight the swelling pain in her arms and hands.
"I feel like Celebrex was made for me," she told a panel of experts. "Most days I feel better than I did 30 years ago."
More than 40 people, including physicians and patient advocates, spoke before the panel called by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after Merck & Co withdrew its popular arthritis drug Vioxx in September when a study showed an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Since then, other studies have shown similar heart risks in Celebrex and Bextra.
The medicines are part of a class of drugs called Cox-2 inhibitors. They are thought to be less corrosive on the stomach than other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin that can cause ulcers and dangerous bleeding.
The FDA is asking two outside advisory committees if Cox-2 drugs offer enough benefits to stay on the market, if they need stronger warnings and what further research is required.
Several arthritis sufferers said they were willing to sign a waiver or otherwise assume responsibility for any cardiovascular problems.
Amy Leong, who said she had tried more than 35 arthritis drugs, said patients could weight the benefits themselves.
"I'm a standing benefit in front you. It is my choice to work with my physician to determine what is a high risk for me," she told the panel.
Several patients taking Vioxx lamented that the pill was pulled from the market too son.
Gloria Barthelmes said she had suffered from severe arthritis but found relief with Vioxx.
"When they took the Vioxx away, I panicked," she said.
Her rheumatologist then prescribed Bextra.
"I hope you people can help me and not take theses medications away," said Barthelmes.
American Chronic Pain Association board member Nicole Kelly said other patients had told the group that they had stopped taking their pain medicines for fear of a heart attack or stroke.
But most wanted immediate relief, she said.
They would rather live 10 years with manageable pain than 20 years without relief.
Source New Zealand Herald, 21 February 2005
Footnote from Ideal Health:
The following products are all useful for Arthritis Pain:
Bee Venom with Glucosamine
Fish Oil 1500mg - Odourless
Collagen Type 2 Joint Complex
Hi Strength Liquid Fish Oil
HistaEze (Quercetin with Bromelain)
Related health information can be found here:
Bee venom with glucosamine to assist with arthritis, aches and pains or migraines
Joint Problems? Are you deficient in Chondroitin, a "liquid magnet" cartilage protector?
Efamarine for healthy skin, hair and nails
Overcome joint pain & stiffness with Glucosamine
MSM - bioavailable sulphur for arthritis and pain relief
Nutritional pain control - DLPA - a powerful pain reliever
Protein - a macronutrient so often overlooked
Water, the elixir of life
Related articles can be found here:
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Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.
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