Pfizer Inc., maker of the arthritis painkiller Celebrex, has acknowledged that a 1999 study found Alzheimer's patients using Celebrex to be up to four times more likely to exhibit cardiovascular risk factors than those taking a placebo. In response, the consumer group Public Citizen has renewed it efforts to convince the government to ban Celebrex as well as Bextra, Pfizer's other Cox-2 inhibitor drug. Another drug in that family was Vioxx, which Merck & Co. withdrew from the market in September after studies showed it doubled the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Kaiser Permanente, the nation's largest nonprofit managed-care provider, has stopped prescribing Bextra amid "compelling" evidence of heightened heart risks. Pfizer Inc.'s Bextra is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used primarily to treat arthritis pain. Bextra is a Cox-2 inhibitor similar to Vioxx, which Merck & Co. withdrew from the market in September when studies showed that Vioxx doubled the risk of heart attacks or strokes.
Did your doctor prescribe you a medication with a black-box warning? Even though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stepped up efforts to highlight important drug guidelines with black-box warnings, dangerous drugs are still being prescribed.
Mobic, a painkiller that hundreds of thousands of arthritis sufferers turned to after the Vioxx recall, is potentially just as dangerous as other cox-2 inhibitors. That's the conclusion of veteran Food and Drug Administration (FDA) safety officer David Graham, who presented preliminary findings at an FDA conference reviewing safety risks of cox-2 inhibitor drugs. In September 2004, Merck recalled Vioxx after studies showed the painkiller doubled the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Since then, Pfizer's Bextra and Celebrex have been under scrutiny and now whistleblower Graham questions the safety of top-selling prescription arthritis painkiller, Mobic. Graham testified that the cardiovascular risks of taking higher does of cox-2 inhibitors compare to the dangers of smoking, high blood pressure and diabetes with evidence becoming more persuasive that they all increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
The arthritis drug Vioxx may have caused up to 140,000 excess cases of serious heart disease in the U.S.-- many potentially fatal -- by the time Merck & Co. withdrew it from the market. This is the conclusion of a study published by David Graham, associate director for science in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Office of Drug Safety, in the medical journal, Lancet.
Merck & Co. withdrew Vioxx from the market in September 2004 after study results showed the painkiller doubled patients' risk of heart attack and stroke. But could Merck have uncovered Vioxx's ill effects earlier? The answer, according to previously undisclosed Merck documents, is "yes."
Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS), a rare and devastating skin disease most commonly triggered by medication, is a possible side effect of taking Cox-2 inhibitors or other drugs. With Merck pulling Vioxx off the market in September 2004, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scrutinizing other Cox-2 painkillers, the spotlight has focused on potentially deadly problems like heart attack and stroke. While skin reactions may rank low in comparison, SJS is a serious condition that attacks the skin and mucous membranes and can result in blindness or death.
Zoloft and other antidepressants may cause suicidal behavior in about two out of 100 children and teenagers taking the pills, according to studies reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The link between SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) antidepressants and suicide prompted the FDA to order "black box" labels on these prescriptions, the strongest warning issued by the government regulatory agency. Other SSRI drugs include Effexor, Paxil and Prozac.