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Now Experts Are Saying Celebrex Is Also a Problem

If you read my lead article on Wednesday about the Vioxx recall you will remember that I said five and a half years ago that Vioxx should not be taken because it will increase the risk of heart attacks. When Merck finally removed Vioxx from the market my warnings were headed. What is not fully yet appreciatd is that the other COX-2 inhibitors, Celebrex and Bextra, are really not much better.

Now an expert with a long history of research in the COX-2 inhibitor class of medications said cardiovascular problems seen with Vioxx may yet surface with the other two drugs. Vioxx, Celebrex and Bextra all have the same effect on this biochemical system. They inhibiti prostaglandins like prostaglandin I2 that are also responsible for protecting the heart. Therefore, until proven otherwise, evidence would suggest that this mechanism would involve all drugs in this class.

Dr FitzGerald is chairman of pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania's Institute of Translational Medicine and Therapeutics and his article will appear in New England Journal in two weeks.

New England Journal of Medicine October 21, 2004

USA Today October 12, 2004

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