ad info

 Diet & Fitness

 Headline News brief
 daily almanac
 CNN networks
 CNN programs
 on-air transcripts
 news quiz

CNN Websites
 video on demand
 video archive
 audio on demand
 news email services
 free email accounts
 desktop headlines

 message boards




New 'super aspirins' may give pain relief without stomach upset

Super aspirin
New "super aspirins" may work without stomach upset  

November 6, 1998
Web posted at: 8:42 p.m. EST (0142 GMT)

From Medical Correspondent Rhonda Rowland

(CNN) -- Imagine a drug that could relieve pain in the same time-honored way as aspirin but that did not upset stomachs or lead to ulcers in chronic pain sufferers.

Some doctors are excited about a new class of drugs, dubbed "super aspirins," that may do just that. Some of these drugs are in the final stages of testing and could be approved for use within months.

"To call them a super aspirin is probably not correct, in the sense they're not stronger than the aspirins we have," says Dr. Thomas Schnitzer of Northwestern University. "But what they are certainly super about is they're super safe."

Here's how these new drugs, technically known as cox-2 inhibitors, work:

In the human body, an enzyme called cox-2 triggers pain and inflammation, while a related enzyme called cox-1 protects the stomach from irritation. Common aspirin-like drugs combat pain by blocking cox-2 but, unfortunately, also block cox-1.

In contrast, these new drugs block only cox-2, relieving pain without causing stomach problems.

However, not all doctors are convinced that these super aspirins will be better than old aspirin-like drugs already on the market.

"It's a little bit premature to be declaring victory until we've had a large enough number of clinical trials and enough people treated for long periods of time to understand the risk-to-benefit ratio better," says Dr. Charles Hennekens of Harvard/Brigham & Women's Hospital.

Related sites:

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window

External sites are not
endorsed by CNN Interactive.

Latest Headlines

Today on CNN

Enter keyword(s)   go    help


Back to the top
© 2000 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.