Deadly painkiller Nolotil now strongly regulated in Spain

Published:  7 Nov at 6 PM
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The Olive Press’s campaign against the use of the deadly painkiller Nolotil has finally been successful.

Over a year ago, Spain’s English language newspaper began a campaign against the use of Nolotil, a painkiller frequently prescribed by Spanish doctors. The paper was alerted to the mysterious deaths of a number of British and Irish expatriates and tourists and launched an investigation as well as posting a petition calling for the drug’s regulation after being alerted to the issue by medical translator Cristina Garcia del Campo. Over the past year, del Campo has worked tirelessly to gather literally hundreds of case studies of dozens of deaths, with the Olive Press reporting progress on a regular basis.

Nolotil is a regularly prescribed, popular painkiller in Spain in spite of its side effects of sepsis and agranulocytosis, a rapid fall in the white blood cells which destroys patient’s immune systems. Del Campo’s rigorous investigation included details of patients who’d had to have their fingers amputated due to sepsis as well as the deaths of a number of patients. The deadly drug is banned in the UK, the USA and the majority of European countries including Scandinavia, and seems to have worse side effects for Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian patients.

The first reaction to the investigation came last April, when a warning was issued to medical facilities in Costa Blanca’s health network and, finally, the drug is now being regulated across Spain. The Spanish Medicine Agency has now issued a directive to all the country’s healthcare bodies, stating that the drug must not be offered to British and Irish tourists. British and Irish expats living in Spain may be offered Nolotil on short term prescriptions, but only after a thorough analysis of each patient’s heritage and medical history. In addition, those taking the drug will be monitored on a regular basis.

Del Campo told the Olive Press she’s ‘very happy’ the issue has been recognised and dealt with, adding she’ll be checking to ensure the authority’s recommendations are being closely followed by all medical professionals. If necessary, she said, I will push for a total ban. The Alicante-based translator reported a major study may be carried out as there’s still work to be done, but said those with Anglo-Saxon or Scandinavian ancestry are now protected.
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