Navigation Links
Arthritis Treatment Linked to Liver Problems in Study
Date:6/18/2012

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- A "medical food" called Limbrel, which doctors prescribe to treat osteoarthritis of the knee, was linked to several cases of liver disease in a small study, but the effects so far seem to be rare and easily reversible.

Still, patients who take Limbrel, also known as flavocoxid, should be aware of the potential for liver problems, said study lead author Dr. Naga Chalasani, director of the division of gastroenterology and hepatology at Indiana University School of Medicine, in Indianapolis.

Patients should not assume that "medical foods," such as Limbrel, are 100 percent safe, he added.

In the United States, medical foods are not subjected to the clinical trials required of prescription drugs before coming to market.

According to Primus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., maker of Limbrel, the main ingredients of the pills are plant elements known as bioflavonoids, specifically baicalin and catechins. The company says Limbrel helps improve mobility and relieve joint discomfort and stiffness related to arthritis.

For the new study, Chalasani and colleagues analyzed 877 cases of liver injury and found four linked with Limbrel. The researchers said it's "highly likely" that the product caused the liver problems in three of the patients and possible in the other one.

Symptoms included nausea, fatigue and yellow skin, Chalasani said. The four patients were women between 57 and 68 years old who showed signs of liver illness between one and three months after taking Limbrel.

They recovered within weeks of discontinuing the drug.

"Our report provides convincing evidence that flavocoxid is capable of causing clinically apparent, acute liver injury," the study authors wrote. They also noted that the pharmaceutical company has discovered 31 possible cases of liver problems among more than 284,000 users since the drug was brought to market in 2004.

It's not clear why Limbrel might cause liver problems, although the researchers suspect one of its chemicals may be at fault, Chalasani said.

According to Dr. Robert Levy, director of clinical development for Primus Pharmaceuticals, "Limbrel is, by far, the safest anti-inflammatory on the market."

Limbrel has an "extraordinary safety profile," he added. He said medical foods must be prescribed and used under the direction of a physician, adding that physicians should monitor the livers of patients who take the drugs.

"Because the liver is the site of metabolism of most drugs and foreign chemicals, a great many drugs, including all anti-inflammatory agents, are known to have some liver toxicity," Levy said.

Painkillers, another common treatment for osteoarthritis, only provide limited relief and are also associated with adverse events, the study authors said.

About 20 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis, which is the leading cause of disability in the United States, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Study lead author Chalasani said patients and physicians should be aware that medical food products haven't gone through the same kind of review as regular prescription drugs.

"I'll bet most people who prescribe Limbrel think it's gone through the typical review process," he said. "If a physician chooses to prescribe Limbrel, he or she should be aware that it can cause this toxicity." If patients develop symptoms of liver damage, they should stop taking Limbrel, he added.

The study appears in the June 19 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The authors of an accompanying journal editorial said that the current policy of allowing medical foods to come to market without rigorous testing may need to be reconsidered, given their popularity and potential for damage.

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about medical foods.

SOURCES: Naga Chalasani, M.D., director, division of gastroenterology and hepatology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis; Robert M. Levy, M.D., director of clinical development, Primus Pharmaceuticals, Scottsdale, Ariz.; June 19, 2012, Annals of Internal Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Menopausal Age May Affect Rheumatoid Arthritis Severity
2. Smoking negatively affects response to anti-TNF treatment in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
3. Early menopause predicts a milder form of rheumatoid arthritis
4. Personalizing biologic treatment to individual patients with rheuatoid arthritis is cost-effective
5. For Juvenile Arthritis, Pill May Work as Well as Needle
6. Injection of methotrexate not superior to oral therapy in juvenile arthritis treatment
7. Mayo Clinic: Standard heart disease risk tools underrate danger in rheumatoid arthritis
8. Scientists identify new target to battle rheumatoid arthritis
9. Research With Dogs Points to Early Test for Arthritis
10. Dinosaurs May Have Suffered From Arthritis
11. New biomarker test predicts arthritis at much earlier stage, MU researchers say
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Arthritis Treatment Linked to Liver Problems in Study
(Date:2/7/2016)... ... February 07, 2016 , ... Dr. Todd Hobgood , ... medical and surgical expertise. Technically known as deoxycholic acid or previously as ATX-101, ... non-surgical alternative for reduction of fat below the chin (aka the “double chin”). ...
(Date:2/6/2016)... San Rafael, CA (PRWEB) , ... February 06, 2016 , ... ... 2016 Youth Ultimate Coaching Conference (YUCC) . This event brings together top non-profit leaders, ... is “Gender Equity and Girls Ultimate”. Valerio Iani, Bay Area Disc Program Director of ...
(Date:2/6/2016)... St. Petersburg, FL (PRWEB) , ... February 06, 2016 , ... ... AsSeenOnTV.pro are pleased to announce the launch of a new DRTV campaign with Belly ... rug. If having tried everything from sprays to puppy pads and find nothing works, ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... ... Steven Tonkinson, 36, of Coconut Grove, Florida, ran the Miami Marathon on ... This year, he ran all 26.2 miles with a green 25-pound ShelterBox strapped to ... , This Sunday, while many are watching the Superbowl, Steven Tonkinson will strap on ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... VeloReality President ... next generation LYNX VR Indoor Trainer with multi-rider capability to an enthusiastic audience ... not only reduce the weight of the unit, they also enhance the rider's ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... -- Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE and SIX: ZBH) today ... offering of 11,027,558 shares of its common stock by ... and Goldman Sachs.  The shares are being sold to ... share. The selling stockholders will receive all of the ... of its directors, officers or other stockholders is selling ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... 2016  Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ: HSIC ), the ... to office-based dental, animal health and medical practitioners, announced ... acquire a majority ownership interest in Dental Cremer S.A., ... Brazil . --> ... is the dental distribution business of Cremer S.A. With ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... France , Germany ... and Israel ). It includes a 10-year epidemiology forecast ... segmented by age and sex in these markets. GD epidemiology report is ... in-depth, high quality, transparent and market-driven, providing expert analysis of disease trends ... Germany , Italy , Spain ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: