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Comment by Michael R on December 20, 2011 at 4:36pm

I am definitely a MJ advocate. I've got MS and found that MJ did provide better pain relief than the drugs I'm currently taking...without chewing up my guts.

Comment by Michael R on December 20, 2011 at 4:31pm

"Conservative calculations estimate that approximately 107,000 patients are hospitalized annually for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-related gastrointestinal (GI) complications and at least 16,500 NSAID-related deaths occur each year among arthritis patients alone." (Singh Gurkirpal, MD, “Recent Considerations in Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug Gastropathy”, The American Journal of Medicine, July 27, 1998, p. 31S)


"It has been estimated conservatively that 16,500 NSAID-related deaths occur among patients with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis every year in the United States. This figure is similar to the number of deaths from the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and considerably greater than the number of deaths from multiple myeloma, asthma, cervical cancer, or Hodgkin’s disease. If deaths from gastrointestinal toxic effects from NSAIDs were tabulated separately in the National Vital Statistics reports, these effects would constitute the 15th most common cause of death in the United States. Yet these toxic effects remain mainly a “silent epidemic,” with many physicians and most patients unaware of the magnitude of the problem. Furthermore the mortality statistics do not include deaths ascribed to the use of over-the-counter NSAIDS." (Wolfe M. MD, Lichtenstein D. MD, and Singh Gurkirpal, MD, “Gastrointestinal Toxicity of Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs”, The New England Journal of Medicine, June 17, 1999, Vol. 340, No. 24, pp. 1888-1889.)


Found this at: http://adjusthealth.info/health-news/89-40000-deaths-in-usa-caused-...

Comment by Adriana on December 20, 2011 at 4:30pm

Yes, they probably include all NSAIDS (ibuprofen especially, due to increased risk of stroke, in patients who overuse it or use for very long, and quite a few of the prescription-only NSAIDS). Aspirin is the only NSAID that does not increase the risk of stroke, and is one of the safest drugs on the planet, but of course even an overdose of water can kill you. I understand the point they are trying to make with the picture, and I agree with it. It's just that exaggerations or misrepresentations never help, but people, especially people who are not as nice as I am (LOL) will nitpick. I'm pretty sure if someone was rich enough or stupid enough to ingest vast quantities of MJ, they could probably die, just like with everything. 

The best comparison I think it is to tobacco and alcohol; those 2 alone really kill a lot of people, and they are not illegal. And I hope they did not include traffic deaths, because in that realm, marijuana smoking can cause death too, like alcohol drinking (link). So if someone wanted to nitpick, they could find traffic accidents where people who were driving stoned killed themselves, their friends or third parties. Although, to be fair, states with medical marijuana laws have fewer traffic deaths, suggesting it is better to drive stoned than drunk, though it's best to drive completely sober :-) 

Comment by Neal on December 20, 2011 at 2:21pm

I think some figures are including all NSAIDS. Not sure if it matters, if five people die annually from aspirin it is still more than THC.

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS)
Conservative calculations estimate that approximately 107,000 patients are hospitalised annually for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-related gastrointestinal (GI) complications and at least 16,500 NSAID-related deaths occur each year among arthritis patients alone. The figure of all NSAID users would be overwhelming, yet the scope of this problem is generally under-appreciated.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, often referred to as NSAIDS, are assumed to be well tolerated and are widely used as an initial therapy for common inflammation. Everyone is familiar with these types of drugs with millions using them for pain relief. They range from over the counter aspirin and ibuprofen to a whole host of prescription brands. These pharmaceutical agents constitute one of the most widely used class of drugs, with more than 70 million prescriptions and more than 30 billion over-the counter tablets sold annually in the United States alone. NSAIDs are often called nonsteroidal because they are not steroids. Steroids affect inflammation by suppressing part of the immune system, which is the body's natural healing response to trauma. Instead NSAID drugs mainly inhibit the body's ability to synthesize prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are a family of hormone-like chemicals, some of

Common over the counter names include: ibuprofen (Advil(r)), naproxen (Aleve(r)), and aspirin (Bayer(r)). Perscription brands include: celecoxib (Celebrex(r)), diclofenac (Voltaren(r)), etodolac (Lodine(r)), fenoprefen (Nalfon(r)), indomethacin (Indocin(r)), ketoprofen (Orudis(r), Oruvail(r)), ketoralac (Toradol(r)), oxaprozin (Daypro(r)), nabumetone (Relafen(r)), sulindac (Clinoril(r)), tolmetin (Tolectin(r)),

Comment by Adriana on December 20, 2011 at 2:06pm

I couldn't find the link to the AMA figures, but I found this, from a medical site, for salicylate (the active ingredient of aspirin) toxicity (60 deaths in 2005), but if you go to earlier pages of the same site (not the epidemiology that I'm posting, most of the toxicity is ingestion of ointments containing salicylates, supposed to be used topically, not from taking aspirin as directed, and from overdosing intentionally:

Epidemiology

Occurrence in the United States

According to the Toxic Exposures Survey from the American Association of Poison Control Centers' National Poisoning and Exposure Database, more than 20,000 aspirin and nonaspirin salicylate exposures were reported in 2005; 64% required treatment in a health care facility.[4] Of these exposures, 50% were intentional overdoses, and 60 fatal cases were noted.

Age-related demographics

Generally, the degree of the toxicity is more severe in elderly individuals and infants, as well as in persons with coexisting morbidity or chronic intoxication.

Acid-base disturbances vary with age and severity of the intoxication. Infants rarely present with pure respiratory alkalosis. Respiratory alkalosis may not develop in an infant or it may be short-lived. The most common presentation for a child is metabolic acidosis.

Factors contributing to a decline in the incidence of pediatric salicylate intoxication include increased acetaminophen and ibuprofen use and child-resistant packaging.

Comment by Neal on December 20, 2011 at 1:55pm

The American Medical Association puts the death rate from aspirin-related products – when used as directed – as high as 30,000 people each year.

Comment by Michel on December 20, 2011 at 12:24pm

@Adriana - Perhaps the numbers come from people who did not take their aspirin?

Comment by Hope on December 20, 2011 at 10:49am

Very interesting!

Comment by Neal on December 20, 2011 at 10:43am

Have no clue. =(

Guess I will look it up.

Comment by Adriana on December 20, 2011 at 10:32am

Fun facts, but curious to know where the number for aspirin comes from. 

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