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If deaths from toxic effects from NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and Aleve were tabulated separately in the National Vital Statistics reports, these drug toxicities would constitute the 15th most common cause of death in the United States. This is why cannabis as medicine can be an excellent choice as a substitute for more toxic pain killers. As patients become more attuned to the benefits of cannabis as an inexpensive natural pain reliever that doesn’t have death as a side-effect, many forward thinking doctors are recognizing the amazing benefits of low-toxic cannaibis for pain and inflammation.
Substitution of less harmful medicines for more harmful drugs is intelligent medicine. Cannabis is the least toxic of any pain reliever by almost any measure. It has never caused a single death ever. Cannabis does not have to be smoked to be effective, and medical cannabis patients don’t have to get ‘high’ to experience pain relief. Over the counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (aka Advil, etc) kill more Americans than most people are aware.
The July 1998 issue of The American Journal of Medicine stated the following: “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. The figures of all NSAID users would be overwhelming, yet the scope of this problem is generally under-appreciated.” Medical cannabis has never killed a single patient.
And again in June 1999 the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine issued a similar statement: “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.” Again, medical cannabis has never killed a single patient.
A recent study in Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management notes that the number of deaths and hospitalizations from GI bleeding due to NSAIDs has remained unchanged since the 1999 study.
“From 1999 to 2007, the number of U.S. poisoning deaths involving any opioid analgesic (e.g., oxycodone, methadone, or hydrocodone) more than tripled, from 4,041 to 14,459, or 36% of the 40,059 total poisoning deaths in 2007. In 1999, opioid analgesics were involved in 20% of the 19,741 poisoning deaths. During 1999–2007, the number of poisoning deaths involving specified drugs other than opioid analgesics increased from 9,262 to 12,790, and the number involving nonspecified drugs increased from 3,608 to 8,947.”http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/wk/mm5932.pdf
The use of cannabis to treat pain is intelligent medicine. Let the healing begin….
In health, -Dr. Jake Felice