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The fear that all drugs of the cox-2 inhibitor class pose cardiovascular risks is becoming more real now that a new study has revealed that a third cox-2 inhibitor painkiller, Bextra, has been linked to an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. In the study Bextra use showed a tripled risk of heart attack and stroke compared to placebo. However, the subjects were all bypass patients and thus probably more at risk than the normal population. The cox-2 class is generally aimed at treating chronic pain of arthritis and other conditions. Vioxx has recently been banned from the market and Celebrex is still in use despite reports of increased cardiovascular risk associated with it. Researchers want all cox-2 inhibitors labeled with a black box warning highlighting the risks. The FDA is planning to hold a public forum on the viability of the whole cox-2 inhibitor class of drugs. The method of action of this class of drugs is blamed for the increased risk. Apparently, cox-2 inhibitor inhibit the activity of cox-2 causing prostacyclin levels to decrease which makes arteries more prone to clotting, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. Researchers point out that up to half of arthritis patients (who are most likely to use this class of drugs) also have underlying heart disease. An even greater risk was noted in a study on mice where aspirin was used in conjunction with cox-2 inhibitors. Researchers warn that doctors and consumers need to carefully weigh up the risks and benefits of using this class of drugs. Patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease should totally avoid this class of drugs.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by ajc - HealthDay News
About: New results on Bextra implicates whole cox-2 inhibitor class of drugs
Date: 18 January 2005
Source: ajc - HealthDay News
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