CATrends: Rapid Release Pain Relief Medications claims are tough to swallow
Picture this: You’re in your local drugstore standing in front of a wall of pain relief products trying to decide which of the many bottles of pills will stop your headache the fastest, but the tremendous pounding in your head is impairing your ability to think. And then, as if out of a dream, you see it – “rapid release” gelcaps. Your prayers have been answered and you scoop up the bottle even though it’s more expensive than some of the other options assuming that in no time your headache will be gone with these fast-acting pain pills.
Not so fast.
 
According to a recent study, several over-the-counter pain pills with “rapid release” in their name dissolve, on average, about 30 seconds slower than cheaper non-rapid release products from the same manufacturer. One of the explanations given was the gelcap coating on the pills. When the gelcaps were removed, the study found that the pills dissolved as fast or faster than the uncoated tablets to which they were compared. These coatings serve many purposes, including making the medication easier to swallow, but appear to hinder quick dissolution, the study found.
 
The study is now at the center of three class-action lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, Walmart and Rite Aid. The complaint against Johnson & Johnson, which was the first of the three to use the term “rapid release” in 2005, states:
 
Despite what J&J’s marketing and labeling would have consumers believe, the term “rapid release” does not actually mean that the drug works faster for consumers than non-rapid release products.
 
The products named in the three class-action complaints — which were all filed on the same day in November by the same group of lawyers — include Johnson & Johnson’s Tylenol Extra Strength Rapid Release Gels, Walmart’s Equate Extra Strength Acetaminophen Rapid Release Gelcaps, and Rite Aid’s Acetaminophen Rapid Release Gelcaps.
 
The study found that it took more than a minute longer for Rite Aid’s rapid release gelcaps to dissolve than its non-rapid release pain-relieving tablets, the largest difference among products tested.
 
Rapid release products from CVS and Walgreens were also tested. While Walgreens’ rapid release products performed similar to those now facing class-action litigation, it does not appear that the company has been sued. CVS’ rapid release pills actually dissolved faster than its non-rapid release tablets.
 
In response to a media inquiry by TINA.org, a Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman said evaluating gelcaps against uncoated tablets is “an apples to oranges comparison.” She added, “The benefit of a gelcap is that it provides consumers with an easy-to-swallow option. Tylenol Rapid Release Gels were developed to maintain the user experience of gelcaps, while improving the rate that the medication is released” compared to conventional gelcaps.
 
A Walmart spokesman told TINA.org, “The Equate brand acetaminophen rapid-release gel capsule label is truthful and accurate; it makes no comparative claims against other products and meets the standards to be classified as rapidly released or dissolving under applicable FDA Guidance.”
 
Rite Aid did not respond to a request for comment.
 
Find more of our coverage on products marketed for pain relief here.
 
 
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Vitamin D Supplements Give Negligible Benefits to Those over 70, Says Study
Deficiency of vitamin-D is common in older people and may lead to increased bone resorption, bone loss and impairment of muscle function. Older people are, often, encouraged to take supplements of vitamin-D to keep their bones, teeth and muscles healthy. However, contrary to this popular belief, new research has revealed that there is very little benefit in taking higher dose vitamin supplements for those over 70 years of age.
 
We know that older people are at increased risk of falls and fractures, which are debilitating and erode people’s self-confidence, depriving them of their independence. Vitamin-D is essential for building and maintaining strong bones and muscles. It, therefore, stands to reason that people deficient in vitamin-D are increased risk of slow recovery from falls and fractures. 
 
This study led by Newcastle University, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, backs previous research that has shown there is no gain for older people taking vitamin-D supplements. The study was funded by the organisation Versus Arthritis and aimed to measure the effect of vitamin-D supplementation on the change in bone mineral density (BMD). BMD is a recognised indicator of bone strength and changers in markers of bone metabolism. 
 
For the study, 400 people over the age of 70 years were randomly allocated to one of three doses of vitamin-D given once a month for a year. The yearly doses varied from 300µg (microgram), 600µg and 1,200µg, which is equivalent to a daily dose of 10µg, 20µg and 40µg, respectively. The researchers were surprised to find that there was no change in BMD over 12 months between the three doses. However, the study did show that doses equivalent to 40µg are safe in an older population and there was a beneficial effect on bone metabolism up to the highest dose. 
 
The study was led by Dr Terry Aspray, a honorary clinical senior lecturer at Newcastle University’s Institute of Cellular Medicine, UK. He says, “The results from previous studies assessing the effect of vitamin-D on bone mineral density have yielded conflicting results, and our study is a significant contribution to the current debate. While our findings do not support evidence of the benefit of high dose vitamin-D supplements, at least on bone mineral density, we do, however, identify that higher doses of the vitamin may have beneficial effects on bone metabolism and that they are safe for older people.”
 
Dr Aspray suggests that older people should rather focus on maintaining a healthy, balanced diet with adequate sun exposure and take regular exercise to keep their bones as strong as possible. He adds “While some may need to take vitamin D supplements, there is little benefit to taking more than 10µg a day.”
 
Further analysis is already underway, including research by a Newcastle University PhD student, on the effects sun exposure on vitamin-D levels in older people and the impact of vitamin-D supplements on muscle strength. There are also experts looking at the impact of genes and kidney function on vitamin-D levels and their function in the blood. 
 
Senior clinical policy adviser at Versus Arthritis, Benjamin Ellis, says, “Over the one year of this study, higher doses of vitamin-D neither improved measures of bone strength nor reduced falls among older people. The current guidance is still that people at risk of low vitamin D should consider taking a daily vitamin-D supplement, as should everyone during the winter months. Work is needed to implement effective strategies to prevent falls and fractures among older people, and to understand the role of medications and dietary supplements in this.”
 
Although this study does not conclusively rest the debate over the benefits of vitamin-D supplements in older people, it does provide some clarity on the fact that there is hardly any benefit received from ingesting such supplements. It is important to remember that one can just as easily get vitamin-D from sunlight and some natural foods like fish, few dairy products and orange juice. 
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COMMENTS

B. Yerram Raju

4 weeks ago

It was just a week back that I was asked to take a few drops of Vit D for a month and 77 I am, this article is a wake up call to stop the course. thanks.

Marcus Sorenson

4 weeks ago

The key is sunshine, as you have mentioned. Though vitamin D supplements did not show a positive result in the mentioned research, sun exposure certainly does show positive results. For example, a Spanish study showed that women who are sun seekers have 1/11 the risk of hip fracture as those who women who avoid the sun. Sun exposure causes the body to produce many photoproducts besides vitamin D, and if full-body sun exposure is used at midday, it can produce up to 20,000 IU of vitamin D. Other health-producing photoproducts of sun exposure are endorphin, serotonin, dopamine, nitric oxide and brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF). Here is a list of the numerous health benefits of sun exposure both with vitamin D and apart from vitamin D:
•Seventy-five percent of melanoma occurs on areas of the body that are seldom or never exposed to sun.
•Women who sunbathe regularly have half the risk of death during a 20-year period compared to those who stay indoors.
•Multiple sclerosis (MS) is highest in areas of little sunlight, and virtually disappears in areas of year-round direct sunlight.
13
•A Spanish study shows that women who seek the sun have one-eleventh the hip-fracture risk as sun avoiders.
•Men who work outdoors have half the risk of melanoma as those who work indoors.
• An Iranian study showed that Women who avoid the sun have 10-times the risk of breast cancer as those who embrace the sun.
•Sun exposure increases nitric oxide, which leads to a decrease in heart disease risk.
•Sun exposure dramatically improves mood through production of serotonin and endorphin.
•Sun exposure increases the production of BDNF, essential to nerve function.
•Sun exposure can produce as much as 20,000 IU of vitamin D in 20 minutes of full-body sun exposure.
•In the U.S. vitamin D deficiency in children increased by 83 times during a 14 year period. That is probably due to indoor living and sunscreen use. More information and references: Sunlightinstitute.org. And, read Dr. Marc Sorenson’s new book, Embrace the Sun, available at Amazon.

Pranita Deshpande

1 month ago

Very nnice article for good health.

Ramesh Poapt

1 month ago

good one!

An Egg a Day May Keep Type-2 Diabetes Away, Says Study
Eggs remain one of the most contentious of foods. Traditionally, high intakes are not advised primarily because of the high content of cholesterol in eggs. However, eggs are also a bountiful resource of many bioactive ingredients that are known to have positive effects on human health. Hence, it becomes difficult to discount the health benefits of eating eggs just because of their cholesterol content.
 
New research has found that the daily intake of one egg is linked to a blood metabolites pattern that entails lower risk of type-2 diabetes. The study, conducted in the University of Eastern Finland, has been published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. Previously, the investigators had shown that eating one egg per day was associated with a lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes among middle-aged men participating in the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study in eastern Finland.
 
 “The purpose of the current study was to explore potential compounds that could explain this association using non-targeted metabolomics, a technique that enables a broad profiling of chemicals in a sample,” says Stefania Noerman, early-stage researcher and lead author of the study.
 
The researchers found that blood samples, taken from men who had eaten more eggs, contained a number of lipid molecules that positively correlated to the blood profile of men who are not predisposed to type-2 diabetes. Furthermore, they were also able to pinpoint various biochemical compounds in the blood that predicted a higher risk of developing type-2 diabetes, including the amino acid tyrosine. 
 
It should be noted that the study does not provide conclusive proof of its claims, but does suggest some plausible mechanisms which could, at least partly, explain the inverse association between egg intake and the previously observed lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes. “Although it is too early to draw any causal conclusions, we now have some hints about certain egg-related compounds that may have a role in type-2 diabetes development. Further detailed investigations with both, cell models and intervention studies in humans that use modern techniques, such as metabolomics, are needed to understand the mechanism behind physiological effects of egg intake,” says Ms Noerman.
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COMMENTS

k.mohanarangam k.mohanarangam

1 month ago

The findings of research contradict s
Earlier belief that cholesterol
Content in eggs is harmful this has
To be confirmed in reality.

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