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How safe is your Arthritic Pain Reliever?

The side effects of pain killers called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) has made people suffering from arthritis hesitant to take medications.

Dr. Eric Amante, an expert in rheumatology from the University of the Philippines and the Asian Hospital, says even physicians are in a bind when it comes to prescribing NSAIDs.

Fortunately, he said, newer and safer NSAIDs are coming into the market. Dr. Amante spoke in particular about Clanza, a kind of NSAID which the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) recently approved to be marketed in the Philippines.

Dr. Julius Lecciones, a pediatric oncologist, conducted a three-year study on Clanza for BFAD. His study, which covered more than 3,000 patients, showed the efficacy and safety of the drug. “It is as effective if not better than other NSAIDs in the market but with very low side effects,” he said.

Most NSAIDs available are known to cause gastric irritations, and some, those known as COX-2 inhibitors such as Vioxx and Bextra, have been found to increase cardiovascular risks.

But according to Dr. Lecciones, it was very notable that less than one percent of patients who took Clanza
experienced very minor side effects.

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