A Commonly Prescribed Painkiller Can Cause Life-Threatening Side Effects, Alleges A Law A Suit Representing Victims
According to a report from Telecinco, Nolotil (also known as metamizole), an analgesic drug which is commonly prescribed by Spanish doctors, has caused life-threatening side effects. British patients have been found to be particularly sensitive to the drug.
ADAF, an association of patients affected by medications led by medical and legal translator Cristina García del Campo, has been denouncing adverse reactions related to metamizole for years. In this sense, they claim to have identified 350 cases of agranulocytosis between 1996 and 2023. Of all of them, 170 were British: which would fit with their idea that this population is especially sensitive to developing the problem.
With all this information, on November 14, the association denounced the Ministry of Health and the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products for not protecting citizens from the “potentially lethal” side effects that metamizole can generate.
The drug first came to the attention of the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) back in 2018. The agency found an unusually high number of agranulocytosis* cases being reported, especially among British patients.
*Agranulocytosis is a condition in which the absolute neutrophil count (ANC) is less than 100 neutrophils per microlitre of the blood. Agranulocytosis may be acquired or inherited. It is a serious condition and can be life-threatening. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are needed to avoid mortality due to septicemia.
Many countries around the world have decided to ban it due to its harmful effects on health. In addition to the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan and most European countries, its sale is prohibited. However, in Spain it is still prescribed since much fewer cases of agranulocytosis are reported in the country.
The Costa del Sol Hospital, in Marbella, carried out a five-year study statistical study on cases of agranulocytosis among its patients. The result was that two-thirds of the patients were foreigners and up to a third of the patients were British.
Symptoms of agranulocytosis
- Shaking chills
- General weakness
- Sore throat
- Ulcers in the mouth and throat
- Bone pain
If you suspect that you are having a reaction to Nolotil, it’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately. Here are some general steps to follow:
- Stop Taking Nolotil: If you are taking Nolotil and experience any adverse reactions, stop taking it immediately.
- Seek Medical Help: Contact your healthcare provider or go to the nearest emergency room. Agranulocytosis can be life-threatening, and prompt medical attention is essential.
- Describe Symptoms: Clearly describe your symptoms to the healthcare professionals. Symptoms of agranulocytosis may include fever, sore throat, mouth sores, and general malaise.
- Blood Tests: Your healthcare provider will likely perform blood tests to check your white blood cell count. Agranulocytosis is characterized by a significant decrease in the number of granulocytes, a type of white blood cell.
- Treatment: Treatment may involve discontinuing Nolotil and providing supportive care, such as antibiotics to prevent or treat infections. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary.
- Inform Healthcare Providers: Make sure to inform all healthcare providers about your reaction to Nolotil, including dentists and other specialists. This information is crucial to avoid future exposure to the medication.
- Avoid Self-Medication: Do not attempt to self-treat the symptoms or restart Nolotil without guidance from a healthcare professional.
It’s important to note that while Nolotil is effective for many people, the risk of agranulocytosis has led to its withdrawal or restricted use in some countries. If you have a known allergy or adverse reaction to Nolotil, make sure to inform your healthcare provider before they prescribe any medications.
Remember, this information is general and may not cover all individual cases. Always consult with a healthcare professional for advice tailored to your specific situation.