Cardiovascular Side Effects of Vioxx, Bextra and Celevrex
BOSTON , MA — By the beginning of this year, a consensus had developed on the link between COX-2 drugs and heart disease risk: The evidence for cardiovascular side effects was strongest for Vioxx and Bextra, intermediate for Celebrex, and weak for naproxen. An overview article in the March issue of the Harvard Health Letter explains this consensus, and can serve as a base of information that readers can turn to as this story continues to unfold.
The Harvard Health Letter outlines some morals from the story of the COX-2 inhibitors, including these:
The FDA needs more options. Right now, the FDA has three basic choices when safety concerns surface: It can recall a drug, threaten to recall it, or order the manufacturer to change the drug's label. Some reformers would like to see the agency have further flexibility — for instance, to temporarily suspend the sale of a drug while its safety record is examined.