Earlier I read about this so called new drug now available in the Philippine market (well at least its popular in Visayas and Mindanao) and they're calling it "Saridon". They say it's actually priced very competitively compared to the leading brands, and quite almost near the generics price. But how come the medicine started out in the provinces and not in Metro Manila or even Luzon?
Another strange thing is there's not enough info to give you an informative knowledge of the said medicine and lastly, I've also been reading bad feedback or articles from certain columnists especially in the said Visayas and Mindanao areas - that is - if you try Googling about this particular brand.
This probably led to the creation of this article in SunStar which worries about the negative write-ups about the drug....and wonders why Bayer and The Department of Health (DOH) is not really that eager to educate the people about the drug....or am I just really out of the loop.
But what really caught my attention was the ads:
If you Google about the brand, Wikipedia tops the list:
"Saridon is an analgesic combination indicated for the management of headache. The currently global base formulation contains 135 mg of propyphenazone, 260 mg of paracetamol and 55 mg of caffeine. The combination is designed and said to produce effective analgesia with fast onset of action in 15 minutes, as compared to paracetamol, ibuprofen, or aspirin alone."
With emphasis on propyphenazone because , apparently, this particular ingredient is banned in other countries:
Propyphenazone, a pyrazolone derivative with anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic activity, was introduced in 1951 for the treatment of rheumatic disorders. As it is structurally related to aminophenazone it has been associated with severe blood dyscrasias. However, it cannot be transformed into potentially carcinogenic nitrosamines and has therefore been widely used as a replacement drug for aminophenazone. In certain countries, products containing propyphenazone have now been restricted in their indications, whereas in others they are still available, sometimes as over-the-counter preparations.”
Countries that have banned Propyphenazone:
Sri Lanka, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, and Turkey
But I've seen a link to a YouTube video of one of its commercials:
I saw information about Saridon at thefilipinodoctor.com website:Notice that the top banner advertises about Saridon. If you go further in by clicking on the banner, its gives you details about the drug and a video link as well.
"Saridon is an analgesic specially formulated to treat severe headache in as fast as 15 minutes.Each Saridon tablet contains Paracetamol, Propyphenazone and Caffeine, a unique combination that provides effective and long lasting pain relief."
The video description is:
"Saridon launches nationwide with a new hard-hitting TV commercial depicting what it feels like to work while nursing a persistent headache - a situation which many people can identify with."
I don't really find the video funny but knowing Filipinos and our thinking, we may actually try it out.
The site also has this" Why Choose Saridon?" portion:
But I don't really just really on obvious biased advertising so I look for other articles and preferred columns or blogs like this one from searchinfluencer.com .
Another blog called the drug as "poison"
"The original formula for Saridon contained a phenacetin, a carcinogenic or cancer causing substance. A component of this was Propyphenazone. It is an NSAID or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug like aspirin. So if taken excessively can cause bleeding. Since this is an over the counter drug, only a few people know about this fact. This is also contraindicated for ages 12 years old and below."
It got me thinking otherwise of the probable ill- effects of the new drug and its "special" ingredients which side-effects are kept hidden from us. Got me thinking why the drug is being banned in other countries.
Is it just paranoia to worry?
Now unless the government, specifically the DOH and the Bureau of Food and Drug (BFAD), whoever is directly responsible, gives us a more reliable source of verifiable information or study about the drug, then its like trusting a brand that could give us more adverse effects rather than cure.
Would I allow myself to be treated by a drug that doesn't even have any specific website available for prospective consumers to research info about it?
Positive feedback from other bloggers
Also read a blog post dated February 2012 with positive feedback about Saridon, but still how come there's still no website from the makers themselves. Should I rely on a few blogs for my medicinal requirements?
Another blogger recommends, and noting the inclusion of caffeine as another ingredient, saying on his blog:
"I’m convinced to the formulation of Saridon and thanks to Bayer for introducing this new drug to us pinoys. I don’t take any tablets for headaches in my life ( I know the other brand, but I take them if ever I’m sick), but Saridon is purely for headaches only and I’m glad that I got introduced to Bayer’s new drug."
"I did a research and learned that Caffeine is proven a neuro-stimulant and also as a metabollic stimulant. Caffeine is very addictive,especially to people who started drinking coffee every morning and afternoon. I also drink coffee every morning and this keeps me awake and oriented for the day that I woke up, I drink coffee to relax myself while working. I read online that caffeine is also a mild natural analgesic, meaning that the elders we were told about to drink coffee if we have headaches is really true.
So when caffeine - the mild natural analgesic combines with Paracetamol and Propyphenazone, it will have Saridon tablet as the fast acting headache and pain reliever."
There's another blogger who has something to say about the product. Read all about it on his blog.
So I guess some are very much impressed with the product and some are wary of the side-effects and the health dangers it may produce.
But it still does not answer my question if Propyphenazone is safe or not...and should we be worried?
Well, I do hope the DOH or BFAD releases an announcement soon otherwise there would still be people like me doubtful of the product. bayer should include information about the product on their website, and exert effort to make the information "searchable" online for us consumers.