What is the problem with Celebrex?

It has been recently found that Celebrex, like the other COX-2 inhibitors Vioxx and Bextra increases the risk of heart attacks by 2.5 times, as well as strokes and blood clots. Among the researchers that have found these issues with Celebrex are

  • Dr. Garret FitzGerald, a cardiologist and pharmacologist at the University of Pennsylvania and his team of researchers who have indicated that the COX-2 inhibitor painkillers suspected of causing fatal heart disease may act by starting the process of hardening the arteries;
  • The National Cancer Institute, which was conducting a long-term cancer study for Pfizer, and prematurely stopped it after finding that patients taking 400mg to 800mg of Celebrex daily had a 2.5 times greater risk of major heart problems than those who were taking placebos (look-alike pills with no active ingredients); and
  • A study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic that appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which indicated that the annual rates of heart attack in both the Celebrex (celecoxib) and Vioxx (rofecoxib) studies were increased compared to a review of studies containing a total of more than 48,000 patients.

As a result of these findings, Pfizer and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are being pressured by consumer groups to recall the drug. Pfizer does not plan on recalling the drug and the FDA could not be reached for comment.

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