A study has revealed serious side effects associated with Pfizer's popular arthritis drug Celebrex. Analysis showed that high doses of Celebrex increase the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients.
The study, supported by the National Cancer Institute, shows that patients who receive 400 milligrams of Celebrex twice daily are three times more likely to develop heart attacks and strokes than patients not taking the medication. These findings back recently issued practice guidelines that suggest doctors prescribe the lowest doses of Celebrex possible.
Celebrex carries the Food and Drug Administration's strictest "black-box" warning on its label, stating that it may cause an increased risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes. A similar drug, Merck's Vioxx, was taken off the market in 2004 after being linked to a higher rate of heart attacks and strokes.