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In Light of Vioxx, Bextra Getting A Closer Look

With the pain of the Vioxx recall still fresh, earlier today Pfizer announced earlier today it will conduct long-term cardiovascular safety tests on its pain drug Bextra.

Although Bextra hasn't led to higher rates of cardiovascular side effects in studies of the drug on people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, researchers found high-risk patients who had coronary bypass surgery and had taken Bextra for up to a year suffered an increased risk of strokes and heart attacks.

Along with the public notice, Pfizer also announced revisions to Bextra's label which include an advisory that users could run the risk of a rare but serious skin reaction during the first two weeks of use which is a greater rate than other COX-2 inhibitors like Celebrex.

Just another reminder, pain-killing drugs are rarely necessary because you can create your own anti-inflammatory merely by changing the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in your diet. This is non-controversial and even traditional medicine has firmly embraced these concepts.

San Francisco Chronicle October 15, 2004

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