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Celebrex and Vioxx Potentially Fatal
Last review: 08/12/10  Article provided by

Celebrex and Vioxx: Dangerous and Potentially Fatal Side Effects

Celebrex and Vioxx were approved for the U.S. market back in 1999 for the treatment of arthritis and other types of pain. Both of the drugs constituted a new class of drugs called Cox-2 inhibitors. Their release seemed to be cause for celebration for individuals who had previously taken aspirin or other NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), but were bothered by gastrointestinal problems commonly associated with them.

Celebrex and Vioxx were touted as great medical developments in the many ads that promoted their benefits. Principal among these was the claim that Vioxx and Celebrex relieved pain without causing stomach problems. Specifically, these Cox-2 inhibitors are prescribed to relieve symptoms commonly associated with osteoarthritis, menstrual cramps, or other acute pain. Unfortunately, Vioxx and Celebrex pose troubling effects for some users and potentially fatal side effects.

Vioxx Side Effects: The Heightened Risk of Heart Attack Linked to Vioxx

Recent studies have shown that Vioxx can increase the incidence of heart attack nearly four times greater than that of traditional arthritis pain relievers like NSAIDS. More specifically, the new study out of the Cleveland Clinic noted an increase in the development of myocardial infarctions, or heart attacks, in people treated with Vioxx, when compared with those treated with naproxen (a standard NSAID). While the risk of heart attack is still low, it is a concern for those users who may have had cardiac problems in the past.

Whether the increased risk of heart attack is attributable to a property of Cox-2 inhibitors (this includes both Vioxx and Celebrex), or whether it is solely specific to Vioxx, is not yet known.

Celebrex Side Effects: Deaths Linked to Celebrex

While the recent report linked heart attacks specifically to Vioxx, this does not mean that Celebrex is not without its risks as well. Several years ago when the drug initially came to market, The Wall Street Journal ran a story that spread throughout the media linking Celebrex to 10 deaths during its first three months on the market. In addition, there were eleven other cases of gastrointestinal hemorrhage associated with the drug. The Wall Street Journal obtained the information using the FDA's Freedom of Information Act. Of the ten deaths, half of them were from ulcers (also known as gastrointestinal bleeding). Two of the deaths occurred from heart attack, one to a kidney problem, one to an interaction with another drug, and no cause was given for the other death. While nothing came of this story (i.e. Celebrex was not deemed responsible for the deaths), the recent revelations bring to life once again the potential dangers associated with Cox-2 inhibitors.

Furthermore, Vioxx and Celebrex do not do anything whatsoever to assist with osteoarthritis, they simply treat the pain. Glucosamine on the other hand is completely safe and has been shown to actually asist in rehabilitating cartilage through the production of proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans.