According to a new study, flavocoxid, an arthritis treatment advertised to be a powerful relief for joint inflammation, may cause significant liver damage in some cases, and doctors should advise their patients not to take it.
Data from the records of 877 patients, were followed by the national Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network, and reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Three cases were cited where flavocoxid was found to be likely a highly likely cause of acute liver damage, and a fourth one that was possibly due to using flavocoxid.
After the use of flavocoxid was discontinued, all four of the patients recovered their full liver function. With the disappointing, confusing and often highly promoted arthritis treatments, people taking flavocoxid should have gotten the best medicine – a natural antidote derived from phytochemical food source materials which are only available with a prescription from a doctor – it is even on the list of many reputable prescription-drug websites.
In an editorial, accompanying the Annals study, Drs. Peter Juni and Stephan Reichenbach of the University of Ben in Switzerland said that flavocoxid is a therapeutic alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
However, because it is considered to be a nutritional supplement, no clinical trials were completed before it was sold to the public. Therefore, unless or until the Food and Drug Administration compiles strong evidence, to the contrary, it is classified as safe for consumers.
Flavocoxid has been sold as an arthritis treatment since 2004. In 2009 and 2010, two clinical trials were released. Although both compared flavocixid’s effectiveness favourably to the prescription naproxen, Juni and Reichenbach say that neither of them satisfies the standards of reporting, used today.