Saturday, September 16, 2006


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Vioxx Cousin, Celebrex, Also Found to Cause Heart Attacks

New research shows that Pfizer-made Celebrex, the only COX-2 painkiller still on the market, may pose heart risks, just like its more notorious cousin Vioxx.
Celebrex has been touted not only as a pain reliever but also as a method to prevent colorectal polyps, which can lead to cancer.
And a pair of Pfizer-funded studies, which together included almost 3,600 patients, did in fact find that Celebrex reduced the risk of recurrent polyps. But an analysis of the two studies in the journal Circulation demonstrated that Celebrex also doubles the risk of serious cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks, strokes, heart failure and death.
Celebrex elevated blood pressure in patients who took it twice a day, but not in those who took it only once a day, which suggests that the dose may affect safety. But an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, which published the Pfizer studies, still deemed Celebrex too risky to use for polyp prevention.
Many doctors stopped prescribing Celebrex to patients upon learning of the potential heart risks. Because of the potential side effects, the FDA has placed a "black box warning" on Celebrex.

New England Journal of Medicine August 31, 2006
Circulation August 30, 2006 Free Full-Text PDF
USA Today August 30, 2006

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