Celebrex (celecoxib), like Vioxx, was developed to treat the signs and symptoms of arthritis and menstrual cramping. Like other COX-2 inhibitors, it works by blocking a natural enzyme associated with the pain of arthritis.
However, researchers are now discovering that COX-2 inhibitors also affect a system in the heart that helps keep arteries free of blockage. In September 2004, Merck pulled Vioxx from the market, citing an increased risk of heart problems.
Many patients switched to Celebrex thinking it was safe. Unfortunately, recent studies and reports are showing that the side effects of Celebrex may be no less serious than Vioxx.
The dangers of Celebrex were shown in a December 2004 study paid for by Pfizer itself and conducted by the National Cancer Institute. Patients taking 800 mg of Celebrex daily were more than three times as likely to have a “severe coronary event”, and those taking 400 mg were more than twice as likely.
When the risk factor was demonstrated, the trial was halted. [Celebrex Statistics]
According to the New York Times, Pfizer knew of the dangers of Celebrex long before that. It had conducted a study in 1999 about Celebrex and Alzheimer’s disease which found that Celebrex patients suffered heart attacks 3.6 times more often than those taking a placebo.
The study was never published or submitted to the FDA. Some critics regard this hidden study as a “smoking gun” about the dangers of Celebrex. [More expert testimony]
Are you at risk?
If you or a family member have taken Celebrex and have been diagnosed with heart disease, stroke or congestive heart failure, or suffered a heart attack and have no prior history of cardiovascular problems, contact us today.
Call the law office of Hissey Kientz, toll-free at (866) 275-4454 or fill out a free online case evaluation form to the right of this page.