Patients taking both Vioxx and Celebrex are now finding it is more of a pain to take a pain reliever than it is not to. In October 2004, Merck & Co. voluntarily pulled its blockbuster drug Vioxx from the market after studies showed it could raise the risk of heart attacks and stroke. After the Vioxx side effects were discovered, just two other drugs in the same category remained on the market - Celebrex and Bextra.
The Vioxx side effects raised concerns with the entire category of drugs called Cox-2 inhibitors. A National Cancer Institute study was halted just 10 weeks after the Vioxx recall because of an analysis by an independent data safety monitoring board. The board reported cardiovascular events occurred more in the Celebrex patients by a 2.5 fold difference. The study included some 2,000 patients over nearly five years, which can be considered a statistically significant figure, especially as concerns over the entire class of drugs have been questioned.
The Vioxx and Celebrex side effects news was shocking to the public, as well as to doctors, shareholders and other experts. For the millions of people that have taken or were still taking Vioxx or Celebrex, the recent drug announcements in the midst of FDA criticism already has been extremely frustrating. With broken faith in the regulatory system intended to protect the public, doctors were even unsure of what to tell their patients.
Accusations of suppressed data have been made, and Vioxx and Celebrex patients that have suffered cardiovascular events in the past now question if their medication may have been the source. While some experts are concerned that their patients may be overreacting to the Vioxx and Celebrex side effects risks, the study leading up to the Vioxx recall showed significant increase in risk for heart attacks and strokes. By the time the Celebrex announcement was made, patients were already shocked and were being reassured by Celebrex maker Pfizer Inc. that their drug was much safer than Vioxx.
The FDA drug safety expert says research indicated Vioxx caused up to 160,000 heart attacks and strokes. Patients are being told about the Vioxx and Celebrex side effects years after their 1999 launch, and in light of all the allegations of suppressed information, many people are wondering what other drug information might be hidden from the public. According to studies, most people, upon learning of a drug's side effects, will accept a certain amount of danger if they believe they have unfiltered information allowing them to adequately weigh the risks.
With so many drug warnings issued within the span of a couple months, patients have been receiving conflicting messages from federal health officials, drug companies and doctors while worrying about if their drugs will create potentially deadly health effects. Lawsuits in response to the Vioxx and Celebrex side effects were immediately filed, and Chief Executive of Merck, Raymond Gilmartin, may testify in some of the lawsuits. Merck was already facing hundreds of Vioxx lawsuits by the close of 2004.
This article about Vioxx and Celebrex was contributed by Vioxx Lawsuit Help.