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Many drugs used to manage or treat arthritis have been associated with a number of complications. Here are a few of the dangers of arthritis drugs.
Federal health advisors specializing in drug safety at the Food and Drug Administration have recommended restrictions on the use of hydrocodone, which is used to make many painkillers. Hydrocodone is a major ingredient in Vicodin, one of the most abused drugs. The recommendation comes from the concern that hydrocodone is addictive.
The Drug Enforcement Agency in the U.S. has consistently ranked hydrocodone as either the first or second most abused medicine in the country for several years. It was the most prescribed drug in the country in 2011 when doctors gave over 131 million prescriptions.
Merck, one of the largest pharmaceutical firms in the U.S., voluntarily recalled Vioxx in September 2004. The drug was popularly used to alleviate arthritis pain.
The recall came a few days after the company discovered that a leading medical journal was going to publish a study the FDA conducted, which associated the drug with high risks of fatal strokes and heart attacks. The study also linked Vioxx with over 55,000 deaths within the five years that Americans were free to buy it. The drug used to generate annual revenue of over $2 billion for the company.
It is also known as teriflunomide. This is the main active ingredient in leflunomide, a drug that is commonly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis in the U.S. Since leflunomide was launched, it has had about 2.1 million years of combined patient exposure in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Unfortunately some patients who were treated with the medication suffered from fatal liver failure.
The Shingles Connection
Rheumatoid arthritis patients treated with drugs like Humira, Remicade or Enbrel are at a higher risk of developing shingles, according to an observation study conducted by Kimme Hyrich of the University of Manchester and colleagues.
Patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis face a higher risk of incurring different types of infection because of the disease itself and the immune modulating treatments used. It is therefore better to consider alternative and natural solutions to treating arthritis in general.
Those who must take pain relievers on a consistent basis should consider a safe, natural topical alternative, such as Super Blue Stuff OTC Pain Relief Cream.