Flavocoxid may cause clinically significant liver injury in some patients, according to study results published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Flavocoxid is a medical food, marketed under the name of Limbrel, for the treatment of osteoarthritis.
Researchers linked 4 cases of liver injury to flavocoxid, based on the records of 877 patients followed by the national Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network. All four people developed signs of liver injury within one to 3 months of starting flavocoxid. The connection to flavocoxid use was considered very likely in 3 of the 4 cases and possible in one of the cases. The good news is that once the product is stopped, liver problems resolve within weeks.
This report will come as a surprise to people who believe that any "natural" product is safe. While it's not known exactly what caused the liver problems, researchers suggested it may be hypersensitivity to natural ingredients in flavocoxid or perhaps unregulated concentrations of some of the ingredients. Flavocoxid (Limbrel) was supposed to work as well as NSAIDs with fewer side effects, but now its safety has been questioned. If you use the product, talk to your doctor.
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