BOULDER, Colo. -- Researchers at the University of Colorado-Boulder have made some incredible discoveries about drugs that most of us have in our medicine cabinet. First, a potentially life-saving treatment for the deadly disease, sepsis. The discovery could also lead to the development of better anti-inflammatory drugs.
The study was published in Cell Chemical Biology. Researchers looking at a subgroup of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's) found they were effective in treating a particular enzyme associated with sepsis. Sepsis is a life-threatening blood infection.
"We happened to see that these NSAID’s might contribute to the anti-inflammatory response," said Hang Hubert Yin, a CU-Boulder biochemistry professor.
This is an exciting development because recent late-state clinical trials of anti-sepsis drugs have failed.
It is questionable, however, if existing NSAIDs, like ibuprofen in high doses, could be used to treat sepsis. The risk of side effects may be too great. More than 16,000 people die from side effects every year.
"We need to understand what causes that effect, hopefully making the next generation of drugs that still kill pain but do not cause the side effects," says Yin.