Vioxx is a prescription medication that has been used primarily in the treatment of signs and symptoms of arthritis, but has also been prescribed to treat acute pain in adults and menstrual pain in women. It is a Cox-2 selective nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID. Other Cox -2 selective NSAIDs on the market are Celebrex and Bextra. Vioxx is also related to nonselective NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen.
In September of 2004, its manufacturer, Merck & Co, voluntarily recalled Vioxx worldwide, due to safety concerns. The FDA issued a public advisory regarding the safety of Vioxx, though it was pulled from the market before the FDA had an opportunity to do a thorough review.
During a clinical trial in which Vioxx was being studied for its effectiveness for preventing the recurrence of colon polyps and as well as its long term safety, the study had to be halted because of the observed risk of increased cardiovascular risk after 18 months of continuous treatment with 25mg of Vioxx as opposed to those receiving a placebo (sugar pill). Merck pulled the drug from the market when the study confirmed longstanding concerns about the drug and demonstrated that the regular use of Vioxx doubled the patientís risk of heart attack or stroke if used regularly and for a prolonged period.
The FDA originally approved Vioxx in May 1999. At that time, their data, which included approximately 5,000 patients, did not indicate an increased risk for heart attack and strokes. However, later studies such as the one involving colon polyps, and another to study the effects of Vioxx upon stomach ulcers, show a correlation between the regular use of Vioxx and increased risk for heart attack or stroke.
After the recall of Vioxx, many doctors have recommended patients switch to other Cox-2 inhibitors such as Celebrex or Bextra, however, these medications have raised health concerns as well. Other patients have been advised to treat their symptoms with NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
Vioxx Help Center
The Vioxx MDL # is 1657: Section L. Correspondence with Judge Eldon E. Fallon may be sent to the following address:
Honorable Eldon E. Fallon
United States District Court,
Eastern District of Louisiana
500 Poydras Street, Room C-456
New Orleans, LA 70130
Fax: (504) 589-6966
Web Site: Vioxx Product Liability
AUthor: Wayne Walker is president of CapTran, the leader in litigation financial services. http://www.captran.com
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