You know them by their common names: Motrin, Aleve, Advil, etc., etc. You may also know them by their common medical term: NSAIDS (NON STEROIDAL ANTI INFLAMMATORY DRUGS).
These drugs are super common and used by everyone all over the world. Since they first came on the market in the 1990′s they have grown like weeds and are now being sold over the counter similar to aspirin.
Aspirin is the granddaddy of the NSAIDS. And, like most medicines, it was found in a plant–the bark of the willow tree. Its chemical name is ACETO-SALICYLIC ACID.
Here is its history from Wikipedia:
Plant extracts including willow bark and spiraea, of which salicylic acid was the active ingredient, had been known to help heal headaches, pains and fevers since antiquity. The father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, who lived sometime between 460 B.C and 377 B.C., left historical records of pain relief treatments, including the use of powder made from the bark and leaves of the willow tree to help heal headaches, pains and fevers.
Thus, Aspirin, the first NSAID was known over two thousand years ago.
Naturally, the pharmaceutical industry was not making much of a profit from the sale of aspirin so they set their scientists to work. These scientists produced a few products, but nothing of any significant commercial value. Then in the 1990′s they came up with some winners. The drug salesmen were crawling all over doctors’ office, telling us about the new miracle.
I listened carefully, then I read the literature and studied the biochemistry. The new drugs looked mighty dangerous–much more dangerous than the pain that could be cured with aspirin or a “Tylenol.”
I refused to prescribe most of the new drugs.
Some of my patients went to other doctors for the new drugs. Then some of these came into the office suffering from strokes or heart attacks.
Little by little the really dangerous drugs were taken off the market by the FDA, which had approved them because the drug companies pressured them, but could not allow them to stay on the market after patients began dying.
The most common side effect of the NSAIDS is “Gastro-Intestinal Bleeding” or bleeding in the stomach.
Here is a quote from the New England Journal of Medicine, before the broad OTC use of NSAIDS:
It has been estimated conservatively that 16,500 NSAID-related deaths occur among patients with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis every year in the United States. This figure is similar to the number of deaths from the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and considerably greater than the number of deaths from multiple myeloma, asthma, cervical cancer, or Hodgkin’s disease.
If deaths from gastrointestinal toxic effects from NSAIDS were tabulated separately in the National Vital Statistics reports, these effects would constitute the 15th most common cause of death in the United States. Yet these toxic effects remain mainly a “silent epidemic,” with many physicians and most patients unaware of the magnitude of the problem. Furthermore the mortality statistics do not include deaths ascribed to the use of over-the-counter NSAIDS.
Across the world, hundreds of thousands of people are dying from the use of these drugs because of the effect of G.I. Bleeding.
STROKE AND HEART ATTACK
Just recently, a study was published in Medscape demonstrating the effect of these drugs on the vascular system causing stroke and heart attack…
Here is the summary:
31 trials in 116 429 patients with more than 115 000 patient years of follow-up were included. Patients were allocated to naproxen, ibuprofen, diclofenac, celecoxib, etoricoxib, rofecoxib, lumiracoxib, or placebo. Compared with placebo, rofecoxib was associated with the highest risk of myocardial infarction (rate ratio 2.12, 95% credibility interval 1.26 to 3.56), followed by lumiracoxib (2.00, 0.71 to 6.21). Ibuprofen was associated with the highest risk of stroke (3.36, 1.00 to 11.6), followed by diclofenac (2.86, 1.09 to 8.36). Etoricoxib (4.07, 1.23 to 15.7) and diclofenac (3.98, 1.48 to 12.7) were associated with the highest risk of cardiovascular death.
Conclusions: Although uncertainty remains, little evidence exists to suggest that any of the investigated drugs are safe in cardiovascular terms. Naproxen seemed least harmful. Cardiovascular risk needs to be taken into account when prescribing any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.
The NSAIDS are killers! They are sold over the counter so that the Drug manufacturers can make billions in profit. The FDA is a puppet of the drug manufacturers. If you buy them, remember what you have just read.