I have been reading up a couple of online posts about this drug Saridon which is said to provide fast acting relief from headaches. Based from the website The Filipino Doctor, it provides instant relief from headache in as fast as 15 minutes and is trusted worldwide in over 80 countries. It seems that it is also the most popular choice of medicine for headache in the Visayas and Mindanao regions as it is relatively cheap compared to other analgesic medicines. Saridon contains three active ingredients: Paracetamol (250 mg.), Propyphenazone (150 mg), and Caffeine (50 mg.). This triple action formula makes it better than individual doses of paracetamol and Ibuprofen for some.
photo source: googleimages.com
But then there have been quite a number of posts now questioning the safe use this drug due to one of its active ingredient, Propyphenazone (Propyphenazone is structurally related to aminophenazone, a drug highly associated with severe blood dyscrasias). According to Mr. Ducky Paredes in his recent blogpost on Saridon, Lareb, a Dutch Pharmacovigilance Center, cited 20 harmful effects of Saridon ten of which are being said to cause nausea, fainting, low blood pressure, weakening of the heart, and worst even death. Ms. Janette Toral in her column dated Oct. 30 at sunstar.com.ph also mentioned that countries such as Sri Lanka, Korea, Malaysia and Turkey have banned and restricted the use of Saridon. This makes me wonder then if extensive studies here in the Philippines have been done prior to its approval.
I was trying to search online for statements from DOH and Bayer clarifying the issue but did not find any. The one link I found which would direct me to the official statement and explanation of a Dr. Abola of Bayer, appeared to have been taken down from the net. Unless there is a clear reference whether online or in print, where people can elevate their concerns or where Bayer and DOH can issue official statements to alleviate people’s fears and doubts, the big shadow of doubt about its safe use will continue to persist.
After doing my own online research, I completely understand the hype about Saridon. I have close family and friends who suffer from migraines, I shudder at the thought that they might be taking this drug whose safety is in big question. According to Wikipedia, Saridon is the only pain medication in the country that has three active ingredients, and the only one listing caffeine as one of its ingredients. All the more that people should be careful in taking this without official clarification from DOH or Bayer. There’s much to be said about combination drugs.
Keeping this note open for official response from the DOH and Bayer. As of the moment, they are still mum on the issue. Will update this as soon as I get hold of their official statements.