Sunday, March 07, 2010

More on Vioxx

I wrote yesterday on the reasons why the anti-arthritis drug Vioxx has been withdrawn from sale: People taking it have a small (in absolute terms) extra risk of having a non-fatal heart attack.

A medical correspondent has emailed me with an interesting suggestion, however: The extra heart attacks might be a sign of the drug's success! If Vioxx is better at relieving arthritic pain it might make people taking it more likely to lead active lives -- having more sex, engaging in more outdoor activities etc. And since the extra heart attacks usually occur among people who are already frail or elderly, those extra activities might put enough strain on their hearts to bring on a heart attack in some instances. So the claim that the extra heart attacks are due to the drug itself may be quite wrong. It is just an assumption.

Secret to hangover-free drinking found (?)

This sounds highly unlikely. It would seem to rely on the oxygen being absorbed into the bloodstream from the gut but it seems to me that the oxygen is much more likely to be expelled the way other bodily gases are

THE dreaded morning-after feeling could be a thing of the past after scientists in South Korea came up with a technique that allows drinkers to avoid a hangover. A team of researchers added extra oxygen to drinks and found that the body was then able to metabolize the booze quicker and eliminate the alcohol quicker - cutting down the after affects, Sky News reported.

Healthy humans were given 240ml and 360ml drinks containing 19.5 percent alcohol by volume - all with different amounts of oxygen added. The results, documented in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, showed those who consumed the more highly oxygenated drinks recovered more quickly and saw their blood alcohol levels return to normal more speedily.

Researchers In-hwan Baek, Byung-yo Lee and Kwang-il Kwon of Chungnam National University's College of Pharmacy concluded: "Elevated dissolved oxygen concentrations in alcoholic drinks accelerate the metabolism and elimination of alcohol. "Thus, enhanced dissolved oxygen concentrations in alcohol may have a role to play in reducing alcohol-related side effects and accidents." The only downside the researchers found was that the process also reduced the amount of time drinkers were actually drunk for.

A Korean drinks company is now launching an oxygenated 'soju' drink called O2 Lin - a drink the company says "helps clarify your brain, energizes your body cells, and maintains healthy and resilient skin”. [Wow! is all one can say to that]


No comments: