This may be the showdown of the decade between doctors who take Big Pharma’s dollars — and then push its drugs — and experts who are revealing the truth about these medications.
At risk are around 10 million Americans who suffer from the incredibly painful condition of gout.
Drugs to lower uric acid are some of the most dangerous ones out there. One can cause severe diarrhea. But even worse is the med that can produce blisters all over your body and eventually cause your skin to peel away.
No, I’m not kidding. These are some seriously dangerous meds.
Now, the American College of Physicians (ACP) has bravely come forward saying that gout patients should use fewer Rx drugs.
Plus that, they revealed that it’s never been proven that taking these risky meds to lower uric acid will even help in preventing gout attacks.
What once was called the “disease of kings” is now referred to as the “disease of the people.”
So many are suffering from this painful and debilitating condition — caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood — that Big Pharma is scrambling to get as many new drugs on the market for gout as possible.
But the ACP is saying “not so fast.”
As Dr. Robert McLean, a rheumatologist and professor at Yale School of Medicine and a contributor to the ACP paper, pointed out, “strong data just doesn’t exist” for the group to back the long-term use of uric acid-lowering drugs to treat gout.
And as the group made very clear in its recommendations, it is against doctors immediately starting patients up on these treatments — especially ones who have infrequent attacks.
The ACP also said that doctors who prescribe these meds need to tell their patients about their “harms.” And that’s big.
Because if there’s anything doctors hate to bring up, it’s side effects.
But in the case of one very frequently prescribed drug for gout, it’s something you definitely need to hear about.
Allopurinol, sold under the brand names of Zyloprim and Aloprim, is known to cause one of the very worst drug side effects imaginable, called Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS).
SJS is a devastating condition in which your skin can literally peel off your body, almost as if you were placed in a pot of boiling water. Those who have SJS are typically rushed to burn centers to try and save their lives. Many are left blind and scarred for life.
And although many drugs can potentially result in this nightmarish condition, the one that’s most “frequently associated” with it is — you guessed it — allopurinol. In fact, this was discovered during a multinational case study done years ago!
But despite that known and horrific hazard, it’s still the most commonly-prescribed drug out there to lower uric acid levels.
So. why might this be happening? Well, maybe it’s because too many doctors have “skin in the game” when it comes to gout meds.
It turns out that lots of gout specialists, most notably ones who are loudly fighting back against these new recommendations from the ACP, are big-time consultants for drugmakers.
In fact, doctors who specialize in treating gout and Big Pharma have banded together over the past few years and created two professional groups. The ACP, on the other hand, has a strict policy against such conflicts of interest. If you have any Pharma ties, you can’t serve on any of its committees. Period.
If you suffer from gout, I realize how incredibly painful and disabling it can be. But taking dangerous drugs that may or may not work and can send you from the frying pan into the fire, just doesn’t make sense.
Instead, why not try some safe and proven ways to keep uric acid levels down?
- Keep your fructose levels as low as possible. That means steering clear of high fructose corn syrup, agave syrup (yes, even if it’s organic), and reducing sugar in your diet.
- Drink more water, which will dilute uric acid levels.
- Add a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water and sip it during the day.