No More Vioxx
No More Vioxx - Now What
Now that heart attack risks have led to Merck’s voluntary withdrawal of its drug Vioxx from the market, arthritis patients and their doctors are left wondering where to turn. The withdrawal of a blockbuster drug like Vioxx raises valid concerns over the safety of similar COX-2 inhibitor drugs. Merck knew for two years that Vioxx predisposed people to heart attack risks. Increasingly, other COX-2 inhibitors are also proving to be less safe than originally thought, since their side effects often end up aggravating symptoms they are designed to treat.
Hailed as “super-aspirin” when first introduced, COX-2 inhibitors were deemed safer and easier on the GI tract than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including aspirin and ibuprofen. The COX-2 inhibitors, however, were never conclusively shown to be superior. Increasingly, consumers are looking toward more natural pain relief solutions with fewer long-term side effects. While it may require a shift in thinking to accept and appreciate their less immediate effects, natural remedies are also considerably less harsh on human physiology. Whereas NSAIDs work almost instantaneously, they could also potentially desensitize the body to their mode of action.
For arthritis patients, many doctors are now reducing their automatic reliance on NSAIDs and COX-2 inhibitors in favor of natural alternatives such as systemic enzymes. A recently completed clinical trial by leading rheumatologists in the United States found systemic enzymes composed of proteases effective in supporting the inflammatory response and better tolerated than NSAIDs, with virtually no side effects. “Systemic enzymes work with the body to shift the balance in the immune system, so they are free of side effects,” says Joe Lehmann, president of Naturally Vitamins, a Phoenix-based nutraceuticals firm that has pioneered systemic enzyme research in the United States.
The lack of side effects from systemic enzymes also means compliance is greater, leading to fewer long-term health problems. “Systemic enzymes have been at the forefront as a natural alternative for more than 50 years,” says Lehmann, whose company markets the best-selling international systemic enzyme product Wobenzym, and more recently Rutozym. “The trade-off is that because they’re naturally derived, systemic enzymes take a little while to show their benefits – the body takes some time to get primed to enzyme action.” For more information on systemic enzymes, call 888-284-2454 or go to www.naturally.com or www.wobenzym.com ### Copyright © 2004 Naturally.com - all rights reserved