Pfizer-Bextra fraud

Pfizer anti-inflammatory drugs are dangerous.

Pfizer-Bextra fraud confirms the danger of COX-2 inhibitors associated with cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal bleeding and serious skin reactions.

Pfizer Bextra was fraudulently marketed.

$2.3 billion settlement. Billion!

COX-2 inhibitors have been purported to be the new wonder drug for arthritis another painful inflammatory conditions, but not having the serious gastrointestinal side effects. It is widely acknowledged that more than 12 000 people die annually in the USA from gastric bleeds directly associated with NSAID drugs.

COX-2 would not do that.

However, it soon became apparent that COX-2 inhibitors had serious side effects on the cardiovascular system. VIOXX was immediately withdrawn from the market, for example.

PFIZER was allowed to continue marketing BEXTRA in very limited doses for conditions such as menstrual cramps and arthritis. In conflict with the FDA regulations, Pfizer promoted BEXTRA using an illegal technique called off-labeling for uses and in doses that far exceeded that approved.

This put patients at risk from heart attacks, strokes and pulmonary embolism.

On 2 September 2009, the company agreed to pay $2.3 billion in criminal fines and civil charges. Pfizer-Bextra is the name we now associate with major fraud.


The FDA has now demanded that all anti-inflammatory drug manufacturers must label their products with warnings.

"There is increased risk of cardio-vascular events and well-described, serious, and potentially life-threatening gastro-intestinal bleeding associated with their use."

Aside: Anti-inflammatory drugs such as Pfizer Bextra are particularly dangerous when taken in association with other drugs, even aspirin. So-called Dual Antiinflammatory Drugs is something to be avoided at all costs.


Chiropractors are not in principle against the lawful and sensible short-term use of NSAIDs, but we believe there is now overwhelming evidence that manual methods and exercise have far more benefits with none of the side effects of these dangerous medicines in the treatment of many Chiropractic Conditions and forms of arthritis.

In addition there is overwhelming evidence that many foods have an anti inflammatory effect. The oleocanthal found only in olives and extra virgin olive oil, for example, also acts as a Cox 2 inihibitor but by a completely different mechanism to the anti inflammatory drugs, and without the side effects.

Just one of the many Olive Oil benefits enjoyed primarily by the Mediterranean people.

It's also been clearly demonstrated that a diet high in omega-6 fatty acids, but low in omega-3 is strongly pro-inflammatory. Read, those who have a diet high in seed oils but low in fatty fish, olive oil, nuts, flaxseed and avocado are at high risk of generalised inflammation in the body affecting joints, muscles, blood vessels and really all tissue.

Simple dietary changes such as generously dribbling extra virgin olive oil instead of using a branded salad dressing, almost always based on sunflower, sprinkling freshly ground flax seeds on a muesli, and enjoying fatty fish at least twice a week would make a profound change for the better for many inflammatory conditions.

Whilst natural foods have a much lower potency than drugs, enjoyed in the diet every day, they are perfectly safe, far cheaper and have none of the side effects of medication.

Ever heard of anyone dropping dead from dribbling extra virgin olive oil on their salad? Or having a heart attack after enjoying salmon or mackerel for dinner?

Even the capaicin in jalapenos and the omega 3 in freshly ground flax seeds have proven anti-inflammatory properties.

Enjoying daily they have an important role to play to get your arteries, muscles and joints into shape. Let your food be your medicine.

Olive oil decanter.
Tahini recipes with salad smothered with anti-inflammatory olive oil.

Pfizer-Bextra fraud

Pfizer-Bextra fraud results in record $2.3 billion settlement.


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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I have left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he is happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti-inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He is doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost pain-free. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he is well pleased; sixty-five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he has taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily stroll has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift; he has a short leg.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. X-rays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65-year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88-year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done. 

10. Mr X is a 71-year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a few months ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It is a non-complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she is doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38-year old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he could not sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71-year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors should not be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that is so much bunkum.

Do you have a problem that is not getting better?

Are you looking for a different slant on your pain?

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Interesting questions from visitors

CLS writes:

Greetings, Dr B.
You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.

Your own unresolved problem. Pose a question

Knowing that up to 70 percent of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there is a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong. Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.

You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what a DC does.

The quickest and most interesting way is to read one of my eBooks of anecdotes. Described by a reader as gems, both funny and healthful from the life and work of a chiropractor, you will love them. Priced right at $2.99, though Kindle fiddles the amount without telling me.