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PainKillers - How Safe Are They?

Sales of over-the-counter (OTC) analgesics are estimated at around $2 billion per year in the US alone.

45 million Americans regularly take painkillers for chronic headaches.

32 million Americans regularly take painkillers for arthritis.

 

  • You can buy them at your local pharmacist.
  • You can buy them at your local supermarket.
  • You are allowed to self-medicate with them.

So they Must Be Safe
Mustn't They?

Aleve (naproxen), an OTC NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug), is manufactured by Bayer AG (net income 2007: $355.2 million from sales of $38+ billion). It was introduced in 1976.

On December 20, 2004, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced research investigators were suspending the use of two drugs naproxen and Celebrex from its Alzheimers disease prevention trial. This study was halted after preliminary trial results indicated that patients taking naproxen were twice as likely to suffer heart attack or stroke as patients in taking a placebo pill.

These adverse naproxen effects caused injury to seventy five of the 2,500 study participants taking this medication. All of the affected participants experienced these naproxen effects while taking over-the-counter level doses of naproxen.

Just days after the naproxen side effects announcement was made, Pfizer Inc. said its best-selling arthritis drug Celebrex was associated with increased heart risks,.

An FDA Health warning now accompanies naproxen. The emphasis is on not taking the drug for more than 10 days.

A Boston study reported in 2005 that women who regularly take painkillers such as acetaminophen/paracetamol and ibuprofen are twice as likely to develop high blood pressure as women who don't. This was surprising mostly because until the time of this report most of the adverse side-effects were linked to NSAIDs. Acetaminophen/paracetamol was considered safe unless taken in overdose.

This was the second-time that acetaminophen/paracetamol had been implicated in a long-term study. It seems that regular use of this particular drug triples chances of kidney disease and accounts for 20% of all cases requiring kidney transplants or dialysis.

It is well-known that no long-term studies are ever made on the safety of drugs. Drugs are big business. Development costs are huge. $3 billion was earned from one new drug in the second year after its introduction. Profits have to be made quickly because drug patents are relatively short-lived and when they expire anyone can manufacture it. So it is important to establish brand names on the pharmacy and supermarket shelves.

Spending on drug advertising has gone from $11 billion in 1997 to nearly $30 billion in 2005, congressional investigators discovered. Profit margins among the leading pharmaceutical companies routinely have been three and four times higher than in other Fortune 500 industries.

Codeine (metabolises to morphine after ingestion) has long been thought to be at least free of side-effects. But, since it is a narcotic, the only real problem with taking it is addiction. Now, however, a study in Canada has shown that there is a danger of morphine overdose to breast-fed infants (Codeine is often used as a painkiller after a Caesarean Section). Several cases of morphine overdose, and one fatality, in breast-fed infants have been reported from Canada.

Almost all painkillers and NSAIDs leach folic acid from the body. This carries with it risks of birth defects, anaemia and cardiovascular disease.

Vioxx, a Cox-2 inhibitor was introduced, along with a sister drug Celebrex, in 1999. Cox-2 inhibitors are NSAIDs that target the Cox-2 enzyme responsible for inflammation. This drug was a 'miracle' for arthritis sufferers when it was introduced. A little over 12 months later they were generating 100 million prescriptions and earning $3 billion a year. In 2001 Celebrex alone was earning $3.1 billion.

Vioxx was the most heavily advertised prescription drug in 2000.

Vioxx was withdrawn from sale in 2004.


Merck (net income 2007: $5,151.8 million, from sales of $10+ billion), its manufacturer, was ordered to pay $253.4 million to the widow of a man who died from a heart attack. The man had been taking Vioxx.

Merck is currently facing thousands of law-suits.

Celebrex is manufactured by Pfizer (net income 2007: $8,144 million from sales of $48+ billion)

From the Celebrex web site:
"...CELEBREX may increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke that can lead to death."
"Serious skin reactions or stomach and intestine problems, such as bleeding and ulcers, can occur without warning and may cause death."

Celebrex is readily available on prescription.

Other Cox-2 inhibitor drugs have been withdrawn. Those left carry similar frightening Health Warnings. There is a very real danger of heart attacks and strokes as a result of taking members of this group of painkilling drugs.

 

OTC painkillers are big business.

Tylenol is a well-known US pharmaceutical brand. It is an acetaminophen (US) / paracetamol (Rest of the World) based brand name. Various products, both liquid and solid, are available with this branding. Some of these products include other drugs.

In 2004 sales of Tylenol (excluding sales to hospitals, nursing homes, and Wal-Mart stores) totalled $786.5 million. In 2006 the division of pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson that markets Tylenol generated revenue of $2.7 billion.

American Home Products made $116.6 million just from sales of Advil (ibuprofen) in that same year.

But there aren't any alternatives...

...are there?

So you are suffering from a chronic pain, and I've just told you that whatever painkiller you choose is going to have the potential to have a seriously damaging, possibly even fatal, effect on your health - but there aren't any alternatives.

Well... that's what the drug companies would like you to believe. After all, as you can clearly see, they make billions of dollars from the continuance of your pain. If there was a cure for pain, and they couldn't patent it and sell it to you, they'd probably spend a fortune on advertising so you were brainwashed into believing that their particular drug was your best-bet for long-term pain-relief. Thinking about it, that's exactly what they do do. So maybe there is a cure for pain after all.

Pain can be relieved without the use of drugs.

Wow! that's a powerful statement. If I was as wealthy as the drug companies I'd have no problem re-programming many people's thinking to believe that. All I'd have to do is come up with a catchy name and flash images and words during the commercial breaks of favourite tv programs for a while. Conviction would follow. Especially since you would intuitively know that the information I gave you made sense at a deep level within you.

But I'm not as wealthy as the drug companies so I have to take this low-key approach.And just so you know I'm not some nut with a web page trying to trick you into buying something useful, check out John Sarno's book(UK) or John Sarno's other book (US) or all of these (US) or even these (UK).

Now I know you want something to take away the pain now (I can possibly do that, but we'll come to that in a minute), you don't want to wait even as long as a day, never mind three or four, for your book to arrive from Amazon, and then read all the way through it, and then practise whatever it suggests and then experience only some slight relief as you perfect the techniques suggested. Though slight relief at least suggests more relief to follow.

There are only two real problems to finding relief from pain.

1. Sufferers want instant relief (even though they don't get that from painkillers - even an injection of novocaine takes a few minutes to reach full potency.)

2. Sufferers don't want to have to do it themselves.

I have on many occasions satisfied the instant relief part (click here to discover more) - well faster than ibuprofen mixed with codeine.

And I've done about 70% of the work. So if you are prepared to do that 30% of effort yourself then click here.

If you don't want my help, or even believe that I can help you, then I would like to leave you with these thoughts to ponder.

The majority of the suffering that comes from pain is the result of fear.

Remove the fear and the suffering will be gone - even though the pain may still remain.

Pain is an illusion - a very real-seeming, attention grabbing, mind-grabbingly terrifying, illusion - but nightmares can be all of those things too, and no one has to work very hard to convince you a nightmare is an illusion created by your own mind.

Pain can be relieved or removed by learning to see through the illusion.

Chronic thoughts are the only reason you experience chronic pain.

If you want to discover how, in around 40 minutes from now, you could possibly, just possibly, experience anything from some welcome relief, to total freedom from, pain then click here NOW.

And just so you know, it will cost you some money, but probably not as much as your next visit to the pharmacist.

 

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