31/03/2006

Drug trial man says brain 'on fire'

One of the six men who became seriously ill following a drug trial has given an interview, saying how he felt like his brain was "on fire" after taking the drug.

Student Nav Modi, 24, told 'The Sun' that he felt ill an hour after taking the anti-inflammatory drug TGN 1412, which was designed to treat conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, leukaemia and multiple sclerosis.

He told the newspaper that he was "gripped by pain" after taking the drug. He said: "I felt my head swelling up like an elephant's - I thought my eyeballs were going to pop out."

Mr Modi said that he screamed for doctors to help him and was given a paracetamol tablet and told to lie back down. However, he vomited the tablet up within five minutes of taking it.

He said that the pain continued to get worse and said that the pressure in his head was so intense, it was "like a truck had been parked on it". He said that the pain moved to his back. "This felt even worse than before and I was conscious of bucking and writhing in the bed as they tried to get an oxygen mask on me."

The six men were paid £2,000 to participate in the trial at Northwick Park Hospital, London - the first time that it had been tested on humans.

The trial, which was being conducted by US firm Parexel on behalf of German drug manufacturers TeGenero, was immediately suspended when the men fell ill.

The Medical and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has launched an investigation.

Mr Modi was one of two men allowed to return home from hospital earlier this week. Four men are still in hospital - one remains in a critical condition, although doctors said that he had made a gradual improvement over the last week.

The three other men are said to be making "good progress" in their recovery.

(KMcA/SP)

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