Have you ever heard of Sarapin? Odds are you probably haven’t. However, if you have ever suffered from chronic back, neck, or joint pain the odds are overwhelming that you have probably heard of cortisone. So what do these two medicines have in common? They can both be used to treat chronic pain to reduce inflammation and they both provide pain relief. They are also both medicines that are recognized by the FDA and AMA, and both require prescriptions for treatments requiring injections. Lastly, they are both recognized as possible treatments for the following ailments: Sciatic Pain, Intercostal Neuralgia, Alcoholic Neuritis, Occipital Neuralgia, Brachial Plexus Neuralgia, Lumbar Neuralgia and many more, but that’s where the similarities end.
Sarapin is a biological medicine – which means it is derived from a naturally occurring organism (the Pitcher plant). It works by stopping pain signals in the nerves of the spine where they exit the spinal column. It does not affect any other nerve functions or motor functions and is not affected by heat or cold. Cortisone, on the other hand, is chemical medicine -which means it is made using a chemical process. More importantly, Sarapin has no known side effects.
Conversely, cortisone injection side effects may include thinning of the skin, easy bruising, weight gain, puffiness of the face, elevation of blood pressure, cataract formation, thinning of the bones (osteoporosis), and rare but serious damage to the bones of the large joints (avascular necrosis). While these side effects are not common, and there are many positive benefits of cortisone when used properly, chronic pain management professionals should only minimize the use of cortisone since other compounds may be safer alternatives.
So why haven’t you heard of Sarapin? The simple reason is that Sarapin lacks profitability and marketing. As a biological medicine that has been in use for over 70 years, Sarapin cannot be patented. As a result, it can be made and sold on the open market without the huge price mark-up that is afforded to patent protected medicines. (Patent protection is the same reason why branded drugs are much more expensive than generic drugs that have the same chemical composition.) Not surprisingly, Sarapin has never had the financial sponsorship of a large pharmaceutical company to pitch it to doctors via the pharmaceutical company’s national network of drug representatives.
Understandably, it’s not your doctor’s fault that he or she may not be aware of Sarapin or how it can be used to address your pain. Fortunately, our doctors are aware of the benefits of Sarapin and how it can be used to treat pain.