In layman’s terms, a Cox-II (aka: Cox-2, Cox 2) inhibitor is a form of non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that directly targets the enzymes responsible for inflammation and pain.
A Possible Cure for Joint Pain?
In an earlier day and age when old time folk remedies and Ford Model T cars were abundant, pain relievers were severely lacking. If you were lucky, perhaps you got some whiskey to dull the pain. Then aspirin (salicylic acid) came around.
Things were thought to be great. People now had a drug that could mask their pain so they could minimize joint pain. For a while, this worked well. Soon, however, reports started surfacing of stomach bleeding, gastrointestinal damage, blood thinning, kidney problems, and a whole host of other problems. These issues were due, in large part, to the "shotgun" way that NSAIDs operated. Today,we know better.
According to a review article published in the New England Journal of Medicine,
"…anti-inflammatory drugs (prescription and over-the-counter [NSAIDs and COX-2 drugs], which include Advil®, Motrin®, Aleve®, Ordus®, Aspirin, and over 20 others) alone cause over 16,500 deaths and over 103,000 hospitalizations per year in the US."
More than 16,000 deaths from aspirin, per year? It makes you wonder about that each and every time you take one, doesn't it?
Reasons for NSAID Fatalities
There are several reasons for the fatalities involving non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Let's first start with the early generation NSAIDs.
The early NSAIDs worked a little bit on both COX pathways: COX-1 and COX-2. Both of these pathways play a critical role in helping to regulate inflammation.
NSAIDs target the inhibition of COX-1 (an enzyme called cyclooxygenase) while largely ignoring COX-2. While NSAIDs work to mask pain, they have other, unintended, side effects because COX-1 controls certain functions of the stomach, kidney, and platelets.
The COX-1 enzyme (that NSAIDs block) is present in most parts of your body - which is why when you inhibit COX-1, you may have other "unintended" side effects, like: stomach bleeding, ulcers, etc. Over time, these side effects can lead to more serious conditions, such as: heart attacks, stroke or even death.
With NSAIDs, you are offsetting several body systems at once instead of really targeting the one body system responsible for the inflammation. Think of COX-1 as a shotgun approach whereas COX-2 can be viewed as more of a targeted attack. The question then becomes, “What else happens when you initiate that targeted attack, and how will your body naturally respond?"
Improvement to COX-2 Drugs
The development of COX-2 drugs was a breakthrough for the pharmaceutical industry. Now they had the ability to patent and market newer drugs, such as Celebrex®. As a result, joint pain drugs quickly rose to become some of the best drug sellers of all time (and they still are).
In theory, the targeted effects of COX-2 inhibition would solve all of the problems of NSAIDs. COX-2 supposedly had all of the benefits of COX-1 without the nasty side effects. The only purported downside was that COX-2 was more expensive- $200 or more a MONTH in some cases. Compare this to $30 for other (more effective) therapies, such as glucosamine.
A Breakdown in Communication
What many doctors fail to communicate is that there are other downsides of COX-2, including the risk of sudden heart attack, and the possibility of stroke or blood clots, without preexisting coronary heart disease in otherwise healthy individuals.
COX-2 drugs work great at relieving pain, but they can (and do) kill people on a regular basis. Doctors are wising up to the disastrous side effects of these drugs, and many have stopped prescribing them.
Other, less informed doctors simply hear what drug reps tell them to prescribe for certain conditions, and they dole out drugs based on what they "should"be giving out. Fortunately many doctors are beginning to realize that COX-2 inhibitors have a cause and effect method of action, something that proves to be fatal in many people who take COX-2 drugs.
Your Body’s System of Checks and Balances - Unbalanced!
The body has thousands of systems of checks and balances, designed to prevent extremes. Just think of how many systems are working right now to maintain your body with optimal levels of water, oxygen, glucose and many more chemicals on a second by second basis.
The COX-2 pathway operates in much the same way. When you inhibit COX-2 enzymes, you mask inflammation and pain, bypassing the COX-1 side effects.
Pretty good so far, right?
The only downside is that COX-2 is, in a way, like COX-1. COX-2 also mediates BLOOD CLOTTING. This is where COX-2 can be fatal.
When you get a cut or experience minor trauma, you sever blood vessels - from small capillaries in the skin, all the way to small tears in the largest blood vessel of them all: your aorta. If left alone, you would eventually bleed to death. Typically, within seconds, your body releases a clotting agent that binds blood together and causes a clot to form. This clotting agent stops the initial blood flow and "plugs the hole."
Roughly two to three minutes later, the body is able to start a process that stops this blood clotting. Both of these processes are started at the same time. However, the first one finishes within seconds and the second one (called a “Rate Limiting” process) takes two to three minutes.
After the damage has been patched, the rate limiting process is responsible for preventing the blood from clotting any further. COX-2 disrupts this process, allowing clotting to continue far past when it should.
As you can imagine, clotting inside the body can be fatal. Get a blood clot in your heart, and you have a heart attack. Get a blood clot in your brain and you have a stroke, etc. Despite this, COX-2 drugs are extremely effective at alleviating joint pain! Suffice it to say, not everyone will experience trauma to their blood vessels on a regular basis, which is why COX-2 drugs are still on the market.
However, as we age, small imperfections become more likely, as plaque and small clots form and the blood vessels become less elastic and more prone to tearing. And while there are new newer technologies available, many remain somewhat unknown, due to patent issues. Therefore, there is little profit for big pharmaceutical companies. Enter glucosamine.
How Does Glucosamine Work?
Did you know that your body already produces small amounts of glucosamine? Because of this, it cannot be patented. In fact, glucosamine has nothing to do with COX-1 or COX-2.
The only problem with glucosamine is that, as your body ages, its ability to manufacture glucosamine starts to ebb as years of wear and tear begin to overcome the body's natural ability to heal. Cartilage then begins to break down, bone spurs develop, and joints become less efficient at absorbing shock.
If left unchecked, this can lead to joint replacements, immobility or excruciating pain. By taking a high quality, liquid glucosamine supplement (such as Flexicose), you can reduce soreness, discomfort and promote healthy cartilage.
Using Flexicose, our unique formula of glucosamine, chondroitin (long chains of glucosamine), MSM and 10 other synergistic ingredients combine to offer you one of the most effective glucosamine products on the market today.
Start Promoting Healthy Cartilage Again - Naturally
Glucosamine is the major building block of healthy cartilage, and Flexicose works to supply the body with the level of glucosamine it needs to do its job effectively when debilitating joint stiffness prevents that.
Because decades of wear and tear cannot be eased overnight, Flexicose takes approximately 2 –3 weeks to take effect; so do not become discouraged if results are not immediate.
Take your daily dose of Flexicose for one month and give it a fair review. Over time, you will notice a reduction in your dependency on NSAIDs until, one day, you only have to take Flexicose.