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warning about painkillers
Nov 8th, 2018 at 11:57am
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HEALTHCARE professionals in Spain have been warned not to prescribe an everyday painkiller to tourists or anyone of northern European origin after research by a medical interpreter in the province of Alicante found that certain nationalities are at risk of fatal sepsis.

Metamizole, which retails as Nolotil, is taken regularly by Spaniards for mild to moderate pain and no known serious side-effects have ever been reported.

But the drug is banned in the UK, and a small number of mostly British, but also Scandinavian patients have developed life-threatening cases of a plunging white blood cell count, causing a dangerously-suppressed immune system.

Known as Agranulocytosis, the condition produces symptoms including fever, sore throat and stiffness, and leaves the patient extremely vulnerable to infection.

Pneumonia, urinary tract infection and septicaemia are common complications of Agranulocytosis and can appear and progress very rapidly, at times too rapidly to be treated in time to save the patient's life.

Cristina García, from Jávea, who works interpreting for English-speaking expatriates and holidaymakers at hospital and doctor appointments, decided to delve deeper after finding only British and Nordic DNA seem to present a deadly infection risk with Metamizole, and that Spanish patients were not apparently affected.

Now, the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Healthcare Products (AEMPS) has warned medics not to prescribe or recommend Nolotil to holidaymakers of any nationality, or to any members of the 'floating population', such as holiday-home owners visiting the area or the country, especially if they are middle-aged or elderly.

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