A Canadian scientist said Wednesday he has developed a way to prevent stomach upsets and ulcers caused by anti-inflammatory painkillers like aspirin.
The development could eventually mean an end to internal bleeding and ulcers caused by anti-inflammatory drugs, which are the most common side effects, John Wallace, a medical scientist at the University of Calgary, told a news conference."We have taken these medicines and added to them another chemical entity which releases nitric oxide - basically it counteracts the detrimental side effects but doesn't effect the anti-inflammatory," Wallace told Reuters.
The development could have a huge impact on the annual $6 billion North American market for drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen, Wallace said.
Of people who use anti-inflammatory drugs every day, about 4 percent require hospitalization at some time for internal bleeding while 20 percent are likely to develop an ulcer, he said.
About 2 million Canadians use anti-inflammatory drugs every day, Wallace said.
It will probably be about five years before the development is available to anti-inflammatory drug users, Wallace said, as further testing is required before regulatory approvals could allow the sales.
Wallace said his findings have been published in the U.S. medical journal Gastroenterology.