Easing joint pain
OSTEOARTHRITIS is a degenerative joint disorder and it is found that about up to 20% of Malaysian adults in the population are prone to this disease, with 40% above the age of 65 affected.
In people affected by osteoarthritis, the cartilage (connective tissue) between their bones gradually wastes away, leading to painful rubbing of bone on bone in the joints.
Without the cartilage, joints are unable to absorb shock and impact and thus affecting the patient’s movement altogether.
With osteoarthritis simple everyday movements such as taking the stairs, walking or carrying things can be difficult.
Treatment options for osteoarthritis range from oral medications, injections and supplements, to lifestyle changes. Many of these treatments come with disadvantages.
While glucosamine and chondroitin have been widely used, for many, adequate control of joint pain after many years of use has led them to wonder whether any significant relief can be achieved with further use.
Both glucosamine and chondroitin are natural substances found in cartilage. Glucosamine is an amino sugar that may help renew cartilage and chondroitin sulfate is a complex carbohydrate that is thought to help cartilage retain water. Osteoarthritis causes pain, swelling and stiffness in joints and damages cartilage over time.
So, it is believed that extra glucosamine and chondroitin can help maintain and perhaps repair the damage caused by this wear and tear of the joints.
In order to assess just how effective glucosamine and chondroitin are, the US National Institutes of Health funded a US$12.5mil randomised clinical trial.
It assigned 1,583 people to take either glucosamine, chondroitin, a combination of the two, an antiinflammatory drug (celecoxib) or a placebo (a “dummy” pill).
Neither the participants nor the researchers knew what they were taking.
The results were indeed a surprise. The majority of patients reported no significant difference in pain relief between glucosamine, chondroitin, a combination of the two and the placebo.
Overall, 60% of patients taking the placebo said their pain was reduced by about 20%, while 66% of those taking the supplements reported similar pain reduction.
The results were published in 2006 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Recently, Pro Bono Bio, the global leader in nano-physical health care products, announced the UK Charity launch of Flexiseq.
Pro Bono Bio chairman and chief executive John Mayo said: “I am proud to bring the world’s first clinically proven nano-physical product for pain relief to the UK. For the UK Charity launch period, Flexiseq is exclusively available online via the Arthritis Research UK website www. arthritisresearchUK.org/Flexiseq and in selected pharmacies.
This charity launch is a unique way for us to contribute to medi- cal research by supplying Arthritis Research UK at a special price which allows them to sell to the public at a reduced price and generate funds for the charity.”
Flexiseq’s proven efficacy comes with significant advantages as the product has no contra-indications and does not contain drugs so it cannot cause drug-to-drug interactions. With over six million doses administered since its launch, there have been no reported systemic side effects.
Flexiseq was launched in Malaysia in 2012, the second country worldwide to have the product available to joint pain sufferers.
Since its launch, thousands of Malaysians have benefited from Flexiseq ahead of other countries such as the UK and America. Flexiseq is already successfully sold in Germany, Ireland and Singapore. Last year, it won the Innovation Award 2013 from the Federal Association of German Pharmacists.
In Ireland, Flexiseq has become the fastest growing over-the-counter product that pharmacies there have seen in recent times.
Mode of action
Flexiseq is different as it does not contain an active pharmaceutical ingredient but works through a patented physical mode of action because it increases the level of biolubrication in the affected joint.
One of the features of osteoarthritis is a depletion in the level of phospholipids in the joint, normally found in the liquid around the cartilage. Flexiseq contains patented phospholipid vesicles that are formulated using Sequessome Technology to be ultra-deformable.
It has been shown to penetrate into the joint, after topical application and being allowed to dry, where it supplements the bio-lubrication in the synovial space.
Pro Bono Bio chief operating officer Michael Earl said, “The proven physical mode of action and the lack of an active pharmaceutical ingredient give Flexiseq the best of both worlds: it works and it’s safe. The lack of systemic side effects that have been recorded when drugs are used chronically, such as gastrointestinal bleeding, kidney failure, heart attack and stroke, together with a lack of drug interactions make Flexiseq a particularly suitable option for many osteoarthritis patients.
“The patients are elderly and may be suffering from other conditions and taking other medications, which complicate the choice of therapy for their painful joints.”
In Malaysia, thousands have been given a new freedom of joint movement which has improved the quality of their lives. An alternative such as Flexiseq has enabled them to avoid oral medications, with some patients being able to stop oral painkillers completely.
Also, being able to avoid injections, which can be costly and painful, has been much welcomed.
For others, to be able to walk again after applying a simple gel like Flexiseq over as short a period as six weeks, has been an immense relief and joy.
For more information visit www.flexiseq.com.my
Last year, Flexiseq won the Innovation Award 2013 from the Federal Association of German Pharmacists.