Healthcare has just launched a pharmacological warning prohibiting prescribing Nolotil (or its generic metamizole) to foreigners who are passing through our country, given the high number of deaths among British patients after the consumption of this drug.
Now, if you are not a foreigner, do not think that this health alert does not affect you, since in fact it distracts attention really worrying: metamizole is a drug capable of producing very serious adverse effects (especially in elderly people) and, paradoxically, its consumption in Spain does not stop growing.
The emphasis on the foreign population is due to the fact that the risk of metamizol is such that, before prescribing this medication, it is essential that the doctor knows in depth the clinical history and the patient’s background to avoid its use in patient profiles. risk.
In the same way, it also requires performing controls on those who have been prescribed. Therefore, given that tourists can not be followed up, the recommendation is clear: do not prescribe it.
The dramatic thing is that this limitation of health comes with almost 10 years of delay.
It was in 2009 when doctors and pharmacists at the Costa del Sol hospital in Marbella noticed something striking: the high mortality of British patients as a result of agranulocytosis caused by the consumption of Nolotil. That was why they already started recommending that its use be avoided. (one)
The agranulocytosis (or neutropenia) is a serious reaction associated with the consumption of metamizole, which causes a decrease in white blood cells, which can lead to the death of the patient when they become defenseless. (two)
10 years and who knows how many deaths after that first warning made by the toilets of the Costa del Sol, what started as a recommendation has become a full-fledged alert.
Agranulocytosis associated with the consumption of Nolotil it is not something new (in fact, it is a medicine that is banned in some countries, such as the United Kingdom and the United States). And that risk is much higher in elderly patients.
It is sold as donuts in our country
The big problem is that in Spain it is a medicine in current use.
Try going to any pharmacy and ordering it; in practically anyone they will give it without qualms. This being serious (given that it is a prescribed medication), it is even more serious that Nolotil (or its generic metamizole) is prescribed so lightly.
In fact, it is the most sold drug in Spain. In the last year 22.8 million boxes of this drug were sold in our country, which aims to alleviate pain of various origins and even used for fever. Its consumption has doubled in 10 years! (3)
On the other hand, in other countries the sale of Nolotil It is done with dropper or has been directly withdrawn from the market, given the dangerousness of its adverse effects.
Health claims that the cases of agranulocytosis associated with their intake have increased in parallel to their consumption, without knowing the exact figure, recognizing that many cases are reported less than they occur. (4)
How can it be that a dangerous drug, whether it is not dispensed in other countries or is subject to rigid controls, is the best-selling medicine?
It is obvious that pain must be stopped, but analgesics, both over-the-counter and under prescription, have a double side.
And they have two terrible inconveniences.
The first is that although they undoubtedly relieve pain, they can not be used for consecutive weeks without risking serious side effects.
And the Nolotil He is not the only one who has them.
The aspirin it makes the pain disappear quickly, but in the long run it causes stomach bleeding; the ibuprofen causes heart problems; the paracetamol It is very toxic to the liver and has a harmful effect on the cartilage. And they all also cause intestinal disorders.
The other problem is that its analgesic effect ends up being less with the passage of time, which even stop serving for what they are intended: to calm the pain.
It’s about a huge problem for people suffering from chronic pain. I am thinking of different types of osteoarthritis and arthritis, neuralgia, diabetes, pain caused by cancer, fibromyalgia, Lyme disease or multiple sclerosis, to name a few. But the list is much longer.
It is possible to treat pain without resorting to drugs
Knowing how to treat chronic pain should be a priority in the medical system. To get an idea, it is estimated that between 40 and 80% of medical consultations are related to pain.
And yet, natural remedies based on analgesic and anti-inflammatory plants, as well as nutritional supplements, are systematically underestimated, even though they offer an almost infinite range of possibilities of remarkable efficacy.
And not only that, but also the plants have a specific and totally direct action. Thus, there is a natural arsenal to choose between for each type of pain:
- Against the Nociceptive pains (derived from muscle, skin or bone lesions, such as burns, fractures, blows, tears …).
- Against the chronic pains, such as osteoarthritis and the migraines.
- Against the neuropathic pains (that is, those caused by a nerve injury).