As you may recall, Vioxx was an anti-inflammatory drug for arthritis in the COX-2 category that was pulled from the market because it increased the risk of a heart attack (it’s cousin, Celebrex also increased that risk, but is still on the market to treat arthritis). A recent study states that the heart attack risk from taking Vioxx remained high even after patients had stopped taking this drug. What’s also interesting was that the risk of taking these drugs was associated with a 200-300% increase in the risk of having a heart attack. Just to get a handle on those numbers, this means that taking these drugs (including Celebrex) increased your heart attack risk to levels that are similar to a diabetic who smoked cigarettes, meaning it could take it from low to very high. The moral of this story? The danger from taking COX-2 drugs for arthritis (possibly even Celebrex, which is still on the market), stays long after you stop taking the drug. In addition, it’s likely best for patients to avoid this entire drug class to treat joint stiffness, swelling, aches, and pains.
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About the Author
Christopher J. Centeno, M.D. is an international expert and specialist in regenerative medicine and the clinical use of mesenchymal stem cells in orthopedics. He is board certified in physical medicine as well as rehabilitation and in pain management through The American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.…