By: Alexandra Preston
December 31, 2015
Drug giant Reckitt Benckiser has been ordered by the Australian Federal Court to pull its so-called “targeted” ibuprofen products off the shelves after the company admitted that these were identical to the standard tablets. Marketed under the name Nurofen, all products contained 200mg of ibuprofen, whether they were labelled as “standard,” “migraine,” “period pain,” or “back pain.”
The specific products are about double the price of standard Nurofen. Fortunately, the court ordered that the “specific” tablets be removed from Australian shops within 3 months, with a subsequent hearing planned to decide on a possible fine. This ruling followed legal action by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in a rare victory over the pharmaceutical industry.
The Nurofen line is also sold in the UK and New Zealand, but the British government’s MHRA said there was no concern, as it is not involved in the control over pricing. The company has also been ordered to pay the ACCC’s legal costs, explain itself to the public, and implement a consumer protection compliance program.
5 Alternative Pain Solutions
But what are some natural alternatives to ibuprofen?
In one clinical trial involving 150 female students, different groups were prescribed either 250mg of ginger powder, 250g of mefenamic acid, or 400mg of ibuprofen, 4 times daily for the first 3 days of their menstrual period. Check out other health benefits of ginger here.
The severity of their pain decreased in all groups, and there was no difference between the three groups in severity, pain relief, or satisfaction with the treatment. Ginger is an anti-inflammatory as well as a circulatory stimulant, and has not been associated with the side effects caused by ibuprofen.
Another study involving 204 patients with osteoarthritis compared the benefits of arnica (one of 5 natural pain relievers we mentioned before) and ibuprofen, both as gel preparations, prescribed for 21 days. In terms of pain and hand function, there were no differences between the two treatment groups, but there were slightly less adverse effects reported by the arnica group, at 5 patients instead of 6.
Additionally, fish oil can be an alternative to pharmaceutical painkillers. Over three months, 250 patients with osteoarthritis took either 1200mg (78% of participants) or 2400mg (22%) of the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish (EPA and DHA). Fifty-nine percent of all patients stopped taking their prescription NSAID drugs for pain, while 60% said their overall pain improved, and 60% again said their joint pain improved.
Eighty percent said they were satisfied with their improvement and 88% stated they would keep taking the fish oil. No significant side effects were reported from the fish oil either.