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June 26, 2006

Risk From Vioxx Appeared Early

A correction published Monday to a key study on withdrawn painkiller Vioxx reveals the risk of heart problems was elevated throughout the time people were on the drug and did not develop only after 18 months of use as the drug's maker, Merck & Co., has contended. (

May 13, 2006

Vioxx Still A Risk After You Stop Taking It

A leading cardiologist on Friday disputed Merck & Co's interpretation on the safety of patients once they stop taking Vioxx, saying they remained at high risk of heart attacks or strokes for some time afterward. (Reuters)

Posted by news editor | Filed under: Pain Medication

May 03, 2006

Vioxx Side Effects Can Occur in Two Weeks

The risk of taking the painkiller Vioxx is more acute than previously thought according to research published online on Tuesday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

A quarter of patients who suffered a heart attack did so within the first two weeks of taking their first Vioxx prescription, a McGill University Health Center study revealed. (REUTERS)

Posted by news editor | Filed under: Pain Medication

April 29, 2006

Pfizer Advertising Celebrex Again

As it resumes advertising its controversial painkiller Celebrex, Pfizer, the world's biggest drug maker, is offering consumers a mixed message. Sixteen months after the company stopped advertising Celebrex over concerns about its heart risks, Pfizer has returned with new ads that juxtapose folksy imagery with a jarring, bold-face warning about the drug's dangers. "Important Information: CELEBREX may increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke that can lead to death," the paragraph-long caveat begins. (

Posted by news editor | Filed under: Pain Medication

March 25, 2006

Drug for Relief of Chronic Shoulder Pain

After the rise in safety concerns surrounding Vioxx and other Cox-2 inhibitors, people suffering from chronic shoulder pain were left with just two therapy options at opposite extremes - take Advil, or have surgery. But a new study from Columbia University Medical Center shows that sodium hyaluronate, a drug that is FDA-approved for osteoarthritis of the knee, is also effective for shoulder pain. (

Posted by news editor | Filed under: Pain Medication

December 28, 2005

Tylenol Linked to Liver Failure

Think popping extra pain pills cannot hurt? Think again: Accidental poisonings from the nation's most popular pain reliever seem to be rising, making acetaminophen the leading cause of acute liver failure.

Use it correctly and acetaminophen, best known by the Tylenol brand, lives up to its reputation as one of the safest painkillers. It is taken by about 100 million people a year, and liver damage occurs in only a small fraction of users.

But it is damage that can kill or require a liver transplant, damage that frustrated liver specialists insist should be avoidable. (

Posted by news editor | Filed under: Pain Medication

December 09, 2005

Merck Failed to Disclose Truth About Vioxx Study

Authors of a study funded by Vioxx maker Merck & Co. failed to disclose in a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2000 that three additional patients in a clinical study suffered heart attacks while using the now-withdrawn painkiller, the journal wrote in an editorial released Thursday. (Washington Post)

Posted by news editor | Filed under: Pain Medication

November 04, 2005

DEA Is Opposed on Painkiller Approval

In an escalating dispute over how the government regulates powerful painkilling drugs, the Food and Drug Administration is seeking to prevent renewal of a provision that last year gave the Drug Enforcement Administration final say over allowing new narcotic medications on the market. (Washington Post)

Posted by news editor | Filed under: Pain Medication

August 19, 2005

Merck Found Negligent in Vioxx Case

The jury in Angleton, Texas, ruled after deliberating on the case for two days that Merck was negligent in its marketing of the drug Vioxx and liable for the death of a 59-year old man. The jury handed the plaintiffs $229 million in damages. Merck said it would appeal, but shares of the big New Jersey drug firm dropped 3% on news of the damage award. (The

Posted by news editor | Filed under: Pain Medication

April 07, 2005

Pfizer's Bextra Recalled

US health officials asked Pfizer to halt sales of its Bextra arthritis medication due to potential risks, and ordered new warning labels for others in a similar class of drugs, including Pfizer's Celebrex.

Posted by news editor | Filed under: Arthritis

March 29, 2005

Pain Drug for Endometriosis

"Pfizer Inc. said on Tuesday it has received U.S. regulatory approval to sell a drug to treat the pain associated with endometriosis, a condition in which tissue from the uterus migrates and implants in other areas of the body."

Posted by news editor | Filed under: Endometriosis

March 10, 2005

Mobic and Heart Problems

Referring to Mobic and diclofenac, University of Pennsylvania pharmacologist Garrett FitzGerald said they would likely turn out to be "Celebrex in sheep's clothing." FitzGerald, also a cardiologist, is an expert on COX-2 inhibitors and heart disease.

Posted by news editor | Filed under: Pain Medication

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