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Co-Proxamol Ban Saves Lives

Co-Proxamol MedicationCo-proxamol, was a popular pain killer in the UK, had its licence removed by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency after its initial announcement of the withdrawal of co-proxamol in 2005.

This was after concerns over the safety of prescribing co-proxamol as a pain relief medication as it was likened to an increase in overdose deaths both accidental and intentional. This has meant co-proxamol is now only prescribe by GP’s in the UK on a ‘named patient basis’.

What is Co-Proxamol

Co-proxamol was a common drug that patients of chiropractors in the UK would mention they had been prescribed for their back aches or arthritic joint pains.

Since co-proxamol’s removal as an easily prescribed pain relief medication, many patients have had to resort to using just paracetamol or ibuprofen for pain relief medication. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency in the UK recommends an alternative pain relief protocol.

News about the reduction in deaths associated with co-proxamol since its ban was released on 18 June 2009 in a follow-up study in the British Medical Journal. It is believed that 350-400 deaths per year are now saved in the UK as a result of the removal of co-proxamol from the market.

Pain Killers and Back Pain

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) are a very common pain killer drug prescribed everyday in the UK for short and long-term back pain patients.

What this study does is remind us of the importance of not seeing NSAID pain killers as just an easy pill to swallow and not worry about it’s other effects other than pain relief.

Toxicity overdose is just one side-effect NSAID’s can have on your body. This is what the worry was with co-proxamol.

If you are still suffering back pain or an arthritic joint pain you should also consider seeing your local chiropractor for advice on what conservative treatment options are available to you.

Image Credit: Some rights reserved by The Javorac

Reading Reference:

  1. Co-proxamol to be withdrawn from the market – MHRA January 2005
  2. Effect of withdrawal of co-proxamol on prescribing and deaths from drug poisoning in England and Wales: time series analysis.
  3. BBC News UK – Painkiller ban ‘has cut suicides’
  4. What is Co-Proxamol
  5. What to use instead of co-proxamol
  • Thanks NJ for the news from the USA on paracetamol. It is one of the most commonly used drugs for pain relief in the UK as it is recommended as first line use then go to other drugs if it doesn’t work. With co-proxamol you can see they add other drugs to paracetamol.

  • Nav Gill

    Thank you for your informative article.

    In Late June 2009- the FDA issued a warning regarding Acetaminophen and how it can cause liver damage if used over a long period of time in high doses. This ingredient is often found in a common over the counter pain medication tylenol. It is also found in Vicodin and Percocet. I believe that in the UK, acetaminophen is also known as paracetamol. On bottles it is also known as APAP.

    Many patients may increase their dosages of acetaminophen over time because they need it for pain control. This along with having a history of alcohol abuse can accelerate liver damage

    Source: The FDA and Painkillers: What’s Safe Now?

    http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1908408,00.html