Recently a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association linked Vioxx to blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes.
Other serious side effects associated with Vioxx usage are:
Serious stomach problems, such as stomach and intestinal bleeding, can occur with or without warning symptoms. These problems, if severe, could lead to hospitalization or death. Although this happens rarely, you should watch for signs that you may have this serious side effect and tell your doctor right away.
Serious allergic reactions including swelling of face, lips, tongue, and/or throat which may cause difficulty breathing or swallowing occur rarely but may require treatment right away.
Serious kidney problems occur rarely, including acute kidney failure and worsening of chronic kidney failure.
Severe liver problems occur rarely in patients taking NSAIDs. Tell your doctor if you develop symptoms of liver problems. These include nausea, tiredness, itching, tenderness in the right upper abdomen, and flu-like symptoms.
More common, non life threatening, side effects associated with VIOXX have include:
Upper and/or lower respiratory infection and/or inflammation
Nausea and/or vomiting
Heartburn, stomach pain and upset
Swelling of the legs and/or feet
High blood pressure
Urinary tract infection.
More About Vioxx and COX 2 Arthritis Medication
Vioxx represents a new generation of arthritis drug known as COX 2 inhibitors. Celebrex (celecoxib) is another COX 2 inhibitor.
The risk of cardiovascular problems, including heart attack, stroke, sudden death and blood clots, is believed by researchers to be more than two times higher in people who used Vioxx (rofecoxib group drugs) than in the traditional, arthritis pain treatment nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which are part of the naproxen group. This was concluded by a study that involved 8,000 patients and compared the COX-2 inhibitor rofecoxib (Vioxx) with the traditional NSAID naproxen.
An additional study found the annual rates of heart attack in Vioxx (rofecoxib) among 48,000 patients was higher than the regular population. In those studies, 0.52% of patients taking an inactive placebo pill had a heart attack each year, while the annual rate of heart attack was 0.74% for patients taking Vioxx-type drugs (rofecoxib group drugs)
The researchers concluded that until more is known, doctors should use caution in prescribing Vioxx to patients with potential heart problems.
Vioxx was approved by the FDA in 1999 for the treatment of osteoarthritis, acute pain in adults, and the treatment of severe menstrual pain. Vioxx is contraindicated in patients with hyper-sensitivity to any component of Vioxx and in people who have had a severe allergic reaction to aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
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