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Vioxx's Heart Risk Lingered Long After Use Ended
Date:10/13/2008

ed that the risk for heart attack and stroke continued even after Vioxx was stopped.

"What this does is help further demonstrate not only the risk of Vioxx, but the temporal duration," Topol said. "Now, we have compelling data that the risk extends a year after stopping the drug," he said.

Topol, who was one of the first to sound the alarm about Vioxx, is not sure that this is a class effect of all cox-2 inhibitors, however.

"There was always a signal that it [the risk] was worse for Vioxx that other cox-2 inhibitors. Whether or not other drugs like Celebrex shared that isn't known. That has not been demonstrated in studies of Celebrex. But you have to be suspicious, particularly since high doses of Celebrex have heart attack and stroke risk. But there's never been a study to show that it's a long-lasting liability," he said.

More information

For more about pain relievers, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.



SOURCES: Robert Bresalier, M.D., professor, medicine, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, Houston; Eric J. Topol, M.D., director, Scripps Translational Science Institute, Chief Academic Officer, Scripps Health, La Jolla, Calif; Oct. 13, 2008, online edition, The Lancet


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