Flupirtine — Another Potassium Channel Opener

Discussion in 'Treatments' started by Mikel, Jul 29, 2014.

    1. StoneInFocus
      Fine

      StoneInFocus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing damage, ear infections
      Very interesting. Have you tried it yet? Is there any more information on the backside of the package? What is the brand of the medicine? Apparently Flupirtine is often used in combination with Paracetamol because of its pain-killing properties, so it could be legit. Maybe you could contact your GP about it? Looking forward to hearing from you.
       
    2. Ela Stefan

      Ela Stefan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      I don't think my GP will do anything as it is off the market in Europe. That is a photo of the medicine that a friend of mine from Pakistan sent to me. It can be found there and in India. As far as I know, no prescription is required over there. But I didn't see this kind of Flupirtine mentioned here, this one in combination with Paracetamol. So I was wondering if it would have the same effects.

      I will try to find a prescription for it. But I don't know if a prescription from Europe would be accepted at the border. My friend can send it to me without problems as it is free of prescription over there, but what if they stopped it at the border on the way to me? I will probably need to call the border center in my country? I just thought of that.
       
    3. StoneInFocus
      Fine

      StoneInFocus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing damage, ear infections
      As far as I know, the mechanism of action of the drug, the modulation of Kv7 channels, is not affected by it being taken together with Paracetamol. So for tinnitus it should not make a difference. But it is still a good idea to ask your GP for medical advice since Flupirtine is a pretty dangerous drug.
      As far as I know, doctors in Europe cannot prescribe medicine that is off the market. There is a good possibility the medicine will be seized by customs. I would not call the border center but do my own research instead. How expensive is a strip? If it's not too high it might be worth risking it.
       
    4. Ela Stefan

      Ela Stefan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      So I can't take it then? It's around $1 dollar for one packet. I would need a doctor from India to prescribe it for me? This medicine can be bought without prescription over there. I'm thinking if it can put me in legal trouble here in Romania? But it is not a "drug"... I really don't know what to say anymore.
       
    5. StoneInFocus
      Fine

      StoneInFocus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing damage, ear infections
      Your friend can send it from Pakistan but there is a possibility it will be seized by customs. There is a risk you will lose your package and the money you spend on it, but as far as I know, you won't get into legal trouble. Prescriptions are useless in this case, don't bother.

      You live in Romania, I'd suggest to investigate if you can get these capsules without prescription in neighboring non-EU countries (maybe Serbia?) and maybe drive there yourself. You can also have your friend send them to acquaintances in these countries if that is a possibility. Customs in these countries might be more lax.
       
    6. Ela Stefan

      Ela Stefan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      Thank you for your advice! Are you saying the problem would be more with the country where the medicine is coming from?

      Because no matter what country it comes from, I think it can be stopped at my border, not necessarily dependent on where it is coming from.

      And if I drive there, they will control my packages as well at the border.
       
    7. Jerad

      Jerad Member

      Location:
      Ohio; United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication ototoxicity
      @Ela Stefan and @StoneInFocus, I found an online pharmacy where Flupirtine is available in generic form. When you go to purchase it, they take you through the KYC (Know Your Client) policy. But it requires you to provide proof-of-identification, like a driver’s license picture. They do that, they say, to prevent identity theft. It’s supposedly a policy that was put into law to protect businesses or organizations. Have you heard of that before? I was just curious and trying to figure out if it’s safe. Don’t want to get scammed. Thanks.
       
    8. Ela Stefan

      Ela Stefan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      Never heard about that really. But there can be things like that I guess. My problem is the border control here!
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    9. StoneInFocus
      Fine

      StoneInFocus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing damage, ear infections
      Literally never heard of having to provide proof of identification for online shopping for the purpose of preventing identity theft. How does that even make sense? Did you find any online reviews from this company?
      No, I didn't really specify which customs would intercept the package, but I meant the Romanian ones. The problem is getting the package across the Romanian border.
      In that case, I'd just request your friend to send some of the stuff from Pakistan. Worst case scenario, you waste a couple of bucks. I would also suggest to ask your friend if he can find a couple packs of Flupirtine without paracetamol to spare your liver. But it's best to call a doctor about possible health risks of this medicine.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    10. Jerad

      Jerad Member

      Location:
      Ohio; United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication ototoxicity
      Ya, I don’t know what to make of it. They say that they want to prevent drug dealers from being involved. The “Know Your Client” policy enables them to verify someone’s identity and prevent stuff like that, supposedly. But I don’t know if it’s legit and I don’t want to get scammed. I know it’s used for cryptocurrency banking, but not sure if pharmacies do, too. So not sure whether it’s safe. I tried to research the company and verify all this, but wasn’t having much luck — is there a way to know for sure? It’s messed-up that people like us and @Ela Stefan have to resort to such extremes to find solutions to our problems. Not sure if it’s a risk that’s wise to take, but we’re left in the dark because our situations are so rare. Like animals put out to pasture, we feel written-off; overall, medical community doesn’t have our backs with these conditions.
       
    11. Ela Stefan

      Ela Stefan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      I'm afraid to get into legal trouble because of it. That's my worry. Could that be possible since Flupirtine is not allowed in the market here?
       
    12. 2noist

      2noist Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2015
      It's not like Flupirtine is heroin or cocaine. If the border control confiscates it, they will most likely just throw it away. You don't go to jail for that. Maybe you can get a small fine, but likely not. You can plead ignorance when it's your first time ordering something like that online.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    13. StoneInFocus
      Fine

      StoneInFocus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing damage, ear infections
      It is important to note that Flupirtine is not legal in the U.S. I doubt the kind of pharmacy that asks for identification is the kind of pharmacy to smuggle Flupirtine across a border. It's most likely a scam.

      At the moment I am eyeballing some Flupirtine sellers from an online Indian marketplace. I have contacted about six of them now, they mostly ask shipping fees between 30 and 40 bucks, so it would be a shame if my package would be intercepted (although it is not too big of deal of course). If I can strike a good deal with one of these people I'll let you guys know.
       
      • Like Like x 3
    14. StoneInFocus
      Fine

      StoneInFocus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing damage, ear infections
      UPDATE:

      After contacting a lot of scammers I've found a seller who seems somewhat reliable, but after doing some research I am pretty pessimistic about the possibility of the package getting though my country's (EU) customs.

      The new small-value regulations from July last year probably won't help either. If we as Westerners want to try this, we have to start thinking about different methods to acquire this medication.

      I am seriously considering traveling to India or some other country for a couple weeks just to try it out locally.

      I could not find any information on the status of Flupirtine in Switzerland.

      Maybe someone on here knows?

      Thanks.

      EDIT #1:

      I found out Flupirtine is not legal in Switzerland, so that is not an option.

      Another possibility is smuggling the medication from a non-EU country into the Schengen zone.

      Maybe if you could drive up to the border of some Eastern European country and cross the border on foot, you could get the medication relatively risk free.

      What a tinnitus & hyperacusis sufferer has to do just for a possible treatment...

      EDIT #2:

      Again did some research on acquiring flupirtine.

      The only countries that seem to stock flupirtine are India and Pakistan (thanks to @Ela Stefan's suggestion).

      I don't think smuggling the stuff into the airplane back to the EU is a foolproof idea, so if we want to acquire the stuff from these countries we need to use it locally for a couple of weeks or more.

      Now, I don't know about you guys but I am not overly excited to spend an extended amount of time in these countries. Maybe it is possible to spend a month in a resort somewhere? Very cumbersome indeed, but, if it would cure my hyperacusis and provide significant relief for my tinnitus, it would totally be worth it. If we would want to do something like this we would have to do it in the next couple of months before COVID-19 makes a return again in the autumn.

      I've checked Russia and Turkey, maybe drive into the Kalingrad Oblast region, but it is illegal in these countries. My initial idea was to drive to Bosnia and Herzegovina, because crossing their border is relatively easy and you do not need a visa, but I found out Flupirtine is not registered there. The medication policies of Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Albania probably conform to EU legislation, pharmacies very likely won't sell it. That means acquiring Flupirtine from a local pharmacy in Europe is likely not possible.

      Then we are back to the option of shipping it from India.

      It's a bit of a risk, we can get scammed, the package can be intercepted, no guarantee we get anything at all etc.

      I am still on the fence about ordering it.

      Another possibility (in my country at least) is that a doctor who knows you requests a special permission from the government to import this unauthorized medication.
      It's a bit of long shot, but I will discuss this option with my GP.

      Last possible option I can think of is somehow ordering the stuff on the dark web. I have absolutely no experience on that though.

      If anyone knows another solution, let me know.
       
    15. StoneInFocus
      Fine

      StoneInFocus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing damage, ear infections
      According to this article, "between April 2013 and December 2017, cases of serious liver injury (total numbers not specified), including 23 cases of acute liver failure after flupirtine use, have been reported in the European database of suspected adverse drug reaction reports (EudraVigilance). The incidence of liver injury in clinical practice is not obvious from the recommendation report. The incidence of flupirtine-related hepatobiliary adverse events in the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices database was estimated in 2011 to be about 8 in 100,000 patients (>0.01%)."

      So I really wouldn't compare taking the drug with playing Russian roulette, as the risk of dying from Russian roulette is more than a thousand times greater than the percentage of people experiencing flupirtine-related hepatobiliary adverse events.

      The article also mentions that "N-acetylcysteine [which is freely available as a supplement] is an essential building block for the replenishment of depleted glutathione stores and when administered intravenously for 7 days replenishes glutathione stores and resolved severe flupirtine-induced liver injury. By regular hepatic monitoring during flupirtine treatment and when applicable, inclusion of N-acetylcysteine [NAC] in the treatment regime would reduce the appearance of this already rare adverse event and avoid cases of liver failure.

      So the chance of seriously damaging our liver when taking appropriate measures is practically nothing. We most likely need to be taking this medication for only a couple of months, while your first article suggests flupirtine is actually "safe when given for a period of one year.".
       
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