2nd March 08:16
Glucosamine / pain reliever
New Drug Combination Might Be More Effective Pain Reliever
The nutritional supplement, glucosamine, boosts the pain relieving power of
ibuprofen, according to a new study by Temple University researchers in the
Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental The****utics (JPET). This new drug
combination could one day allow patients to take a lower dose and get the same
pain relief with fewer unwanted side effects. Ronald Tallarida, Ph.D., and Alan
Cowan, Ph.D., of Temple's School of Medicine, and Robert Raffa, Ph.D., of
Temple's School of Pharmacy, conducted the study "Antinociceptive Synergy,
Additivity, and Subadditivity with Combinations of Oral Glucosamine Plus
Nonopioid ****gesics in Mice," which was published in the November 2003 issue
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Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID. NSAIDs, which
also include aspirin, are quite effective in relieving pain. They are so
effective, in fact, that pain sufferers sometimes take higher and higher doses
in hope of more pain relief. High doses of NSAIDs, especially when taken over
long periods of time, can cause gastrointestinal upset, such as heartburn, or
"Combining pain relievers into one pill can increase patient compliance,
simplify prescribing, and improve efficacy without increasing side effects, or
conversely, decrease side effects without losing efficacy," said Raffa.
In addition to these benefits, drug combinations can also sometimes yield a
totally unexpected effect, such as the magnification of a drug's powers. "When
this happens, a phenomenon known as drug synergism, it's like finding buried
treasure," added Tallarida.
Glucosamine, a naturally occurring substance in the body, which is also
available in synthetic form over the counter, is used to treat osteoarthritis,
a painful, degenerative joint disorder. While it has been shown to prevent and
repair bone and cartilage damage, researchers have yet to demonstrate that
glucosamine actually blocks pain.
"We embarked on this study with several questions: Can glucosamine actually
block pain? And, can glucosamine improve the pain-relieving powers of other
drugs when the two are combined?" said Tallarida.
First, the researchers confirmed that glucosamine, alone, does not block pain.
It's believed that any pain-relieving properties of glucosamine are a side
effect of its ability to repair bone damage. Next, they combined glucosamine
with a variety of NSAIDs at a variety of dosages. With several NSAIDs,
including naproxen, the addition of glucosamine caused an additive effect,
meaning the sum of each drug's properties. When combined with aspirin or
acetaminophen, the result was subadditive, or less than the sum of each drug's
properties. But when combined with ibuprofen, the researchers found pain relief
was enhanced and therefore synergistic.
"The next step will be to study this drug combination in clinical trials to see
whether it can enhance pain relief or offer pain relief using a lower dose of
ibuprofen and therefore a lower risk of side effects," said Cowan. The
researchers are also investigating other possible drug combinations for the
potential relief of pain. Raffa and Tallarida played a role in the development
of Ultracet, a combination of tramadol and acetominophen used in the treatment
of pain. And Cowan contributed to the development of buprenorphine which, when
combined with naloxone, is used in the treatment of opiate addiction.
This story has been adapted from a news release issued by Temple University.
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2nd March 08:16
Glucosamine / pain reliever
Back in the 50's, Pfizer brought out a new product, Cosa-Terramycin,
"glucosamine-potentiated Terramycin". According to them, it was supposed to
enhance potency and blood level. It (glucosamine combination) was touted as
the next miracle in the****utics; that many drugs would be combined with
I can't recall what happened, but the 'cosa' form was removed from the
market. Some time later (don't know when), Achromycin morphed to
Achromycin-V. Don't remember what the change was, but I believe it reverted
back to its original form.
Seemed that there was a lot more hype in those days, and perhaps a little
less science than today. Or is it that the reps are visiting pharmacies
less and spending more time in the doctors' offices?
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