What Is Analgin®?

Analgin® can be used to treat toothaches.
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  • Written By: Andy Josiah
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 14 August 2014
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Analgin® is a brand name for Metamizole sodium, a medication used to treat a variety of pains. It is also known as Dipyrone, Algopyrin, Algocalmin, Melubrin, and Novalgin. The drug was first synthesized in Germany in 1920, and it entered mass production two years later.

Analgin® is referred to as an analgesic and an antipyretic. This means that it is designed as a painkiller and a fever reducer, respectively. The drug is available as a 500-milligram tablet, or a solution for injection that comes in a 2 ml or 5 ml vial.

Besides fever, Analgin® is used to treat toothache and headache. Other ailments include arthralgia, which involves pain of the joints; neuralgia, which is pain in one or more nerves; and myositis, which concerns inflammation of the muscles. The injection form of Analgin® is used for reducing acute or severe pain resulting from operations, traumas, or neoplastic diseases, which is a group of medical conditions that involve the abnormal proliferation of cells.

Analgin® is usually taken according to the age group of the patient, as well as the severity of the pain. Adults can take up to two tablets at a frequency of two or three times a day. Children are generally allowed just one tablet within the same time frame. In cases of persistent pain, the dose can be taken up to four times a day, which is equivalent to taking the drug every six hours. The maximum daily dose, however, should be no more than 4 grams.

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For five decades after its introduction, Analgin® was widely available across the world. A side effect of the medication, however, caused major concern. Scientists discovered that the drug could heighten the risk of agranulocytosis, a medical condition that involves a lowered white blood cell count, thus weakening the immune system's ability to fight diseases. In 1974, Sweden was the first country in the world to ban the drug, with the United States following suit in 1977. Since then, more than 30 countries, including Australia, Japan, Iran and several European nations, have either restricted the use of Analgin® to prescription use, or banned it altogether.

Analgin®, however, is still available as an over-the-counter drug in other countries, most notably in Latin America. In 2001, a 4-year-old immigrant boy from Mexico was admitted to a clinic in Salt Lake City, Utah, with agranulocytosis symptoms. This was due to the high availability of Analgin® among Mexican immigrants and Latino-owned shops.

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Discuss this Article

anon345220
Post 9

Are there any articles to serve as reference for further study from trusted (multiple legit) sources? Any important recent studies made (not by the pharmaceutical industry) by third parties without any relation to the industry?

anon343358
Post 8

Analgin is an amazing drug. I'm use to taking it since I'm from Bulgaria. The problem is that patients take drugs to get better but don't realize that taking so many drugs at once or at a period of time it will hurt them. That's why analgin might hurt people.

For me, I take it once when I have a headache and I'm good to go. It is not necessary to take it many times if you get no results. The immune system likes no chemicals like drugs. The more it gets, the worst it gets. I have never seen side effects in Analgin, and it helps every time.

anon330816
Post 7

There is a very good article on the subject of metamizole and the controversy over the agranulocytosis online. Apparently, one is at a higher risk of agranulocytosis if on diclofenac, ibuprofen, aleve, and several other drugs mentioned there. I find it amazing that it is being banned when it has a lower risk than most other drugs. It is probably to do with the effectiveness of it and also that it isn't a profitable drug. Profits are what runs our country (USA) when it comes to the drug market.

anon328770
Post 6

As a recent sufferer from agranulcytosis, which resulted in a five-week hospital stay here in Germany, I have to weigh in on the side that this drug should be banned. I took one Analgin pill a day for a week and a half before I fell ill, so it is not at all like side effects of other NSAIDS that can require long and regular use to cause problems.

I was told by my doctor that I could take the pill as many as five times a day without danger.

I suppose the silver lining is that the German hematologists who treated me have seen this problem often enough that they knew exactly how to treat it.

anon303416
Post 5

Analgin is very safe and effective. I have seen it used for many years in veterinary practice with excellent results. It is also very effective in use with people. The drug companies and their allies here in the US do not like it because it is very inexpensive and not profitable.

anon283796
Post 4

Analgin has only one side effect - agranulocitosis -- but it is very rare. On the other hand, Analgin has no side effects like aspirin and its derivatives. We use Analgin as safe effective drug widely in Russia.

anon218766
Post 3

I use Analgin in my medical practice and I've never seen agranulocytosis. Analgin is a very reliable medication even in pediatrics. Maybe Analgin is cheap and medical companies want to sell something more expensive? Do you think that ibuprofen or acetaminophen don't have side effects?

JaneAir
Post 2

@SZapper - I'm glad the drug is banned too. However, I'm a little disturbed that it's still so widely available in the Hispanic communities in our country.

I think the local governments in those areas ought to undertake a public service announcement campaign on this issue. The announcements should be in Spanish and in English preferably.

Education is the first step in solving a lot of problems and I think if people knew about the possible side effects they wouldn't take Analgin.

SZapper
Post 1

I've never heard of Analgin tablets, but I guess that's probably because they aren't available in the United States. I find it to be a little ridiculous that a drug used to fight a fever would lower the immune system.

Usually if a person has a fever it means they are already sick. The last thing they need is for their immune system to be further compromised! I would imagine this would just make them even sicker. I'm glad this drug is banned to prevent this from happening.

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