Jul 27, 2023

New arthritis medication takes the sting out of major side effects

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59-year-old Darryl Flashman has benefited from the new medication which instantly reduced his arthritis symptoms. [Source: Supplied]

There are hopes of a major breakthrough for arthritis treatment after research participants found a medication composed of beeswax alcohol significantly decreased joint pain with no major side effects. 

Key points

  • Arthritis is the second most common cause of early retirement (due to health reasons)
  • Osteoarthritis, which is one of the most common types of arthritis, affects one in eight Australians
  • Common side effects of traditional arthritis treatment medications include high blood pressure or weight gain, while it may trigger kidney disease, stomach ulcers or heart attack
  • Abexol, which is a mix of beeswax alcohols and anti-inflammatories, is used to treat gastrointestinal problems but newfound benefits for arthritis have emerged

As one of the most prevalent conditions for older Australians – osteoarthritis affects one-third of people aged 75 and over – effective treatments with limited side effects have long been sought to reduce the toll on individuals. 

Concerns have been raised over the side effects of traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), with health professionals recommending short-term use of NSAIDs. Long-term use has been noted to cause compounding side effects such as stomach ulcers or kidney disease. 

With experts looking for new treatments that would better support people with osteoarthritis, it was a surprise to find a solution during a study on the benefits of Abexol for gastrointestinal (GI) issues. As part of the research, many participants expressed their relief at decreased joint pain, which then led to a combined investigation into the medication’s benefits for GI and arthritis sufferers. 

Abexol enters the joint pain management market

While Abexol is commonly used for the treatment of diseases such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) or stomach ulcers, this is a timely breakthrough for Australians with osteoarthritis. 

Raydel’s Australian Market Access and Development Manager, Sarah Munnik, said the combination of beeswax alcohols and anti-inflammatories has shown positive outcomes when taken daily, particularly for those suffering from mild osteoarthritis symptoms such as mild joint pain, stiffness and swelling. 

“Abexol is definitely a pain-changer as it addresses the root causes of osteoarthritis pain while minimising the risk of side effects. It offers new possibilities for individuals seeking relief from osteoarthritis by providing an innovative approach that tackles pain without compromising overall well-being,” explained Ms Munnik.

With many arthritis sufferers first developing symptoms in their mid-to-late 40s, this breakthrough could be a major game-changer for long-term chronic pain management. 

Quick benefits for arthritis sufferers

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), the osteoarthritis disease burden increases steadily as people age, impacting women nearly twice as much as men. As one of the leading causes of health-related early retirement, it can have a serious mental health impact as well when hobbies have to be sacrificed. 

Darryl Flashman, 59, found himself facing the prospect of giving up his motorcycle as osteoarthritis took its toll. He said he was devastated to even consider abandoning his beloved Harley Davidson purely because he was starting to struggle with its controls.

“The clutch on a Harley is heavy. It takes a lot of strength to change gears on a Harley, let alone steer it. I was devastated. I just kept thinking that I would never be able to ride again. It was taking a serious toll on my mental health, let alone the actual physical pain,” Mr Flashman said.

After struggling to find relief through a number of other medications, Abexol quickly reduced his joint pain, increasing mobility and grip strength. 

“After about a week or so, I thought my hand felt a bit better, but I didn’t know if I was imagining it or not. About a week after that, I was sure the pain relief wasn’t just a coincidence or in my head. It has definitely helped me. I can do what I love to do again. That makes me happy. And I’m not in pain anymore. That makes me even happier,” he said.

It’s important to consult with your doctor prior to changing medication or trying a new medication to treat arthritis, osteoarthritis or any chronic pain condition. 

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