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Government warns over painkiller drugs
By Qin Yan (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-04-13 05:44

The State Food and Drug Administration is increasing vigilance over use of anti-inflammatory drugs after reports that some can have adverse effects on patients' hearts.

Studies have found that, in a small proportion of cases, Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) have been associated with cardiovascular (CV) events and gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, the State Food and Drug Administration announced on its website yesterday.

Experts say that NSAIDs are used to treat pain and inflammation. Well-known brands include Fenbid, Voltaren and Celebrex.

Earlier this month, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an announcement asking manufacturers of NSAIDs to revise their labels to include a warning highlighting the potential increased risks associated with the use of such drugs.

A total of 21 kinds of NSAIDs are on the FDA list.

While the US FDA was keen to stress the risk was only minimal and the public should not panic, it did suggest those taking NSAIDs should consult their doctors and avoid long-term use of the drugs.

When taking over-the-counter (OTC) NSAIDs, people are being urged to pay attention to the manufacturers' guidelines.

According to the Beijing Morning Post, Beijing authorities will not require the revision of labels of such drugs and there are no plans to recall them.

Cong Luoluo, with the Beijing Drug Administration, told the newspaper that drugs all have side effects and NSAIDs are no exception.

Beijing authorities have already strengthened the monitoring of such drugs, the official was quoted as saying.

With local drug authorities across China also playing down the risks, so far there has been no significant downturn in sales of the drugs.

(China Daily 04/13/2005 page2)

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