Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Are NSAID painkillers killing us? Are we to be warned?

The history of painkillers have demonstrated three important things about pharmaceutical drugs. The first is that they are important element in the credibility of conventional medicine. The second is that many millions of people take them routinely and regularly on the basis that they are (at least relatively) safe. The third is that painkilling drugs are a profitable product for the drug companies.

It is the second element, the safety of these painkilling drugs that is the issue. I have written about the dangers of NSAID painkillers regularly, this article putting together information about the harm they do to patients, mainly information that has been known for decades.

Other websites have done the same on a regular basis. In 2011, Agora Health's 'Daily Health' bulletin outlined how widely used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen, naproxen and fenoprofen were, and that they increased our risk of a second heart attack by as much as 45%. More recently Agora Health have said this.

"These popular painkillers have also been associated with a 66 % chance of developing dementia, and a 57% chance of developing Alzheimer's disease. Last year (2014) another study found using NSAID pain relievers increase your risk of atrial fibrillation, a potentially deadly heart rhythm, by a whopping 84%. 

Yet despite the increasing evidence against these painkillers, which has built up over the years, patients have not been informed. Instead there has been a deafening silence from the conventional medical establishment, seemingly content to maintain their credibility with the public against the growing evidence of harm they were causing, and to maintain their profitability regardless of the damage they must have known it was doing to patients.

Now, the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally admitted that the evidence against NSAIDs is too overwhelming to ignore, and is now demanding that these painkillers carry a label warning about their heart attack and stroke risks. (But presumably, no mention of the risk of dementia). Moreover, the idea that you had to take lots of painkillers, over a long period before suffering the dreadful, disease-inducing consequences has been laid to rest. The FDA has admitted, at last, the NSAID painkillers increase the risk of heart disease and stroke from the very first dose.

  • Remember, NSAID drugs, like Paracetamol and Ibuprofen, are readily available, over-the-counter drugs, that can be purchased without prescription, and without any medical oversight.
  • Remember that these same NSAID drugs will still be available in the USA, but with a warning on the label.
  • Remember that these same painkilling drugs will still be available in India, Britain, and the rest of Europe, Australia, Canada, and elsewhere, even without a warning label.

And listen. Can you hear anything from our mainstream media about this? Is the BBC, our 'public services broadcaster' informing us? No! The deafening silence continues.

Instead, listen to Agora Health, who tell us that after years of ignoring adverse reports about NSAID painkillers that the FDA finally agreed to look again at the science behind these drugs, and what they discovered.

  • NSAID drugs can increase your risk of heart failure
  • Our chance of having a heart attack or stroke increases quickly from the first time we take them
  • But the longer we take them, and the higher the dose, the greater the danger becomes
  • Even occasional users have an increased risk of heart attack or stroke, even people with healthy hearts
  • And patients given NSAID's following a first heart attack were more likely to die within a year compared to those who did not take them

The conventional medical establishment must be the last industry that runs its industry on the basis that safety is secondary, that harm has to be proven, beyond all reasonable doubt, before any action is taken to protect the public. There is a pattern that seems to fit all conventional pharmaceutical drugs, including not just painkillers, but Statins, Anti-depressants, Beta Blockers, Anti-biotics - the list is endless!

     * Unsafe drugs come on to the market.
          * People take them, with doctors telling us that they are safe.
               * Only then, as we get ill, do serious side effects become clear.
                    * The reported dangers, (heart disease, dementia), are ignored, often for decades.
                         * Increasing numbers of people, usually many millions, are harmed by the drug.
                              * Drug Regulators do nothing, for as long as they can.
                                  * Warnings may then be placed on the drug labels, that few people read.
                                      * But the Media remains quiet, the public largely uninformed.
                                 
AND THE DRUGS, HOWEVER DANGEROUS THEY MIGHT BE, CONTINUE TO BE SOLD, READILY AVAILABLE FOR ANY UNSUSPECTING PERSON TO TAKE.

AND THE PUBLIC REMAIN LARGELY UNINFORMED, CONTINUING TO BELIEVE THAT THE DRUGS THEY BUY ARE 'SAFE', JUST AS THEY WERE TOLD, MANY YEARS EARLIER.

What other industry is, or would be allowed to carry on in this way? And why is it that the conventional health industry is allowed to continue to do so?