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Vioxx Harmful Even After Patients Stopped Taking It

Merck's withdrawn painkiller Vioxx may have continued to cause blood clots even after patientstopped taking it. Some may even have died of this when they were no longer taking the drug.

The drug was recalled by Merck in 2004 after a study showed it increased the risk of heart disease and death. But new findings show that patients taking Vioxx doubled their chances of having blood clots or dying even during the first half-year after discontinuing treatment.

Reuters reports:

“... [M]ost COX-2 inhibitors [such as Vioxx] ran into safety issues a few years after their approval, and now only Pfizer's Celebrex (celecoxib) remains on the U.S. market.”

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