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Vioxx Found Dangerous in 2000

If you take a plunge back to the archives some five years ago, I made the following prediction about Vioxx: "You will undoubtedly see patients taking this drug for months and years and you will surely see toxic reactions and deaths from doing so."

That prediction of mine made it even more painful for me -- even more so for the 20 million people who were fooled into taking Vioxx -- when I read earlier today that Merck should have pulled this useless drug from the market four years ago because data showing it raised the risk of heart attacks had existed since 2000!

European researchers said there was substantial evidence of the dangerous side effects of the drug by the end of 2000, but the mounting data was not analyzed properly. Swiss scientists performed a meta-analysis on the data, taking in results from past studies, some of which were available on the FDA Web site.

What they found:

  • Patients who took Vioxx were at greater risk even after a few months, regardless of how much of the drug was taken.
  • Using 18 randomized controlled trials and 11 observational studies, researchers saw that heart-attack risk more than doubled when Vioxx was taken.
  • By the end of 2000, 52 heart attacks had occurred in 20,742 patients, including 41 who were using Vioxx.

There no reason for you to wait around for drug recalls and warnings from conventional medicine to improve your health, if you take a moment or two to subscribe to my twice-weekly eHealthy News You Can Use.

USA Today November 5, 2004

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