Celebrex - celecoxib

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:35 by admin


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Celebrex is an arthritis relief drug manufactured jointly by Searle Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. The FDA approved the drug in 1999. According to the manufacturers, Celebrex has been prescribed millions of times since its approval and currently is the most frequently prescribed arthritis drug. Celebrex reduces joint pain and inflammation by regulating the COX-2 enzyme. The drug is also known by its generic name celecoxib.

Celebrex Advisory Information

Celebrex has been linked to several gastrointestinal disorders and at least ten deaths since its approval. In addition, a recent study sponsored by the drug's manufacturer found that Celebrex may increase a patient's risk of suffering a heart attack, stroke, or blood clot. The manufacturers and the FDA continue to stand by Celebrex's safety. Searle maintains that "the drug is performing as expected."

Celebrex History


In 2007, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices and the Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, conducted a longitudinal Adverse Events Reporting System Review of the U.S. FDA's most dangerous drugs. The study found Celebrex to be one of the most dangerous drugs on the market with some of the highest number of suspect drug events.  Celebrex had the tenth highest number of suspect drug events resulting in disability or some serious medical outcome, according to the FDA reports.  During the dangerous drug study, Celebrex was found to have over 4,800 events in an 8-year period.


In March 2006, a study conducted by New Zealand's Medical Research Institute found that Celebrex users increased their risk of heart attack by nearly two-fold. The study, published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, reviewed six studies involving over 12,000 patients.


In April 2005, the FDA asked Pfizer to include a black boxed warning, the most serious warning a medication can receive, in the Celebrex label. The government requested manufacturers of all other prescription NSAIDs to revise their labels to include the same boxed warning highlighting the potential for increased risk of cardiovascular events and gastrointestinal bleeding with their use.

A study conducted by a U.S. private health insurance group has confirmed fears that cox-2 inhibitors cause serious cardiovascular events. In February 2005, Wellpoint Inc. released a study that found Bextra, Celebrex and Vioxx increase the risk of heart attack or stroke in users. According to the research, the risk of heart attack was 53 percent higher than normal for patients taking Bextra, 19 percent higher for those taking Celebrex and 23 percent higher for patients taking Vioxx. The study reportedly found no increase in cardiovascular events in patients taking traditional anti-inflammatory medications.

Concluding three days of meetings reviewing the safety of cox-2 inhibitors, advisers told FDA officials in February 2005 that Celebrex, Bextra and Vioxx, while posing an increased risk for cardiovascular events, should stay on the market because the drugs' benefits outweigh their potential dangerous side effects. The advisory panel voted 31-1 to keep Celebrex on the market, 17-13 to keep Bextra available to patients and favored Vioxx by a vote of 17-16. Vioxx is currently not for sale after being recalled in September 2004. The FDA does not have to follow the panel's recommendations but generally does.


In December 2004, Pfizer announced that a government-sponsored study on Celebrex's ability to prevent cancer had been halted after researchers discovered that Celebrex's risk of causing a major cardiovascular event was two-and-a-half times greater than the risk for patients taking a placebo. In fact, the report's findings indicate that Celebrex's risk of heart attack and stroke are even greater than that posed by Vioxx. Vioxx was withdrawn from the market in September 2004 after a similar study linked the medication to an increased risk of serious cardiovascular events.

Celebrex and Drug Injury

 Please consult with your physician about any questions you may have concerning Celebrex. If you are experiencing any of the side effects or symptoms associated with celecoxib use, it may be important for you to discuss treatment alternatives to your current medication.

If you have legal questions or believe that you have been injured as a result of Celebrex, you should contact an attorney who has experience in this area of practice.

IMPORTANT - You should never stop taking any medication without first consulting with your prescribing physician.

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See Also

  1. Arthritis Drugs
  2. Vioxx - rofecoxib
  3. Blood Clots
  4. Digestive Disorders: Overview
  5. Heart Attack Lawsuits
  6. Kidney Failure
  7. Liver Problems
  8. Stroke
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