Woman survives Nolotil emergency
Patient rushed to intensive care
A WOMAN collapsed “and very nearly died” after being given the controversial painkiller metamizole in a Marina Alta health centre.
The 65-year-old was given Nolotil – one of the common brand names of the analgesic – for stomach pains at Calpe via a drip and suffered a reaction almost immediately.
A nine-strong medical team battled to keep her alive before she was rushed by ambulance to Hospital Clínica Benidorn, spending days in intensive care after suffering a lifethreatening allergic reaction and showing the early signs of agranulocytosis, a dangerous drop in white blood cells which can lead to a fatal sepsis or life-changing complications.
Ironically, the Belgian patient was given the medication just a week before health chiefs in Madrid issued strict new guidelines for the use of metamizole to medical professionals because of new research showed a ‘greater susceptibility’ to side effects in the north European populutely lation, and particularly British people.
The victim – who asked not to be identified – called campaigner Cristina Garcia del Campo who has twice given evidence to regulatory authorities about the dangers of the drug.
Cristina, a Jávea-based medical translator began her research after a client died last December after taking metamizole, said: “She very, very nearly died; she has been very ill and was very frightened.”
She said, “The woman was given Nolotil in the health centre in Calpe by a doctor; it was given on a drip – as soon as they have it she couldn’t breathe. She suffered an anaphylactic shock and lost consciousness.
“The doctor couldn’t do anything and they called a couple of ambulances. There were nine medical professionals around her trying to get her back.”
Cristina said it was ‘abso- certain’ the problem was triggered by the drug and made worse because the patient also suffered from asthma.
The woman had known of Cristina’s research. “All she could think was to telephone me because she needed help and was very frightened, she knew I was doing the study.. .and she was saying ‘I nearly died, I nearly died’.