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“Celebrex Can Cause 2.5 Times More Heart Problems”

Posted December. 23, 2004 23:02,   


A clinical report was issued which warns that Pfizer’s arthritis painkiller, Celebrex, can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Pfizer is a multinational pharmaceutical known for its arthritis drugs. Therefore, American doctors and arthritis patients are fretting over the news. Pfizer announced on December 17 that clinical tests of Celebrex were ceased after cardiovascular risks became evident during a clinical test conducted by the National Cancer Institute on Celebrex’s intestinal-cancer-preventive efficacy. Also, the company halted TV advertising.

According to Pfizer, clinical tests found that those who take 400~800mg of Celebrex everyday are 2.5 times more likely to have heart problems than non-Celebrex-users.

However, the multinational said that the sale of the drug will continue because other test results say that those who take 400mg of Celebrex every day are not at higher risk for heart problems, and newly issued test results do not match existing ones.

In fact, Merck had refused to admit to cardiovascular dangers of Vioxx, which includes COX-2 inhibitors and is considered similar to Celebrex. But the company had to withdraw Vioxx from the market in September completely after the dangers were confirmed. So people are watching closely Pfizer’s reaction.

The Korea Food & Drug Administration (KFDA) issued its “warning” on the same day against COX-2 inhibitors (Celebrex) and pain relievers, which contains naproxen.

The administration sent letters to the Korea Medical Association, the Korean Hospital Association, the Korean Pharmaceutical Association, the Korea Consumer Protection Board, and other relevant organizations, asking for caution in administering, preparing, and taking COX-2 inhibitors and naproxen-included medicines.

Lee Jung-seok in the pharmaceutical surveillance division of the KFDA explained, “We are thoroughly examining those two medications. So the warning is a precaution until a final result comes out.” As for COX-2 inhibitors, in Korea, PfizerKorea Inc.’s “Celecoxib Capsule 200mg” is circulated, and among naproxen-included materials, 112 medicines including Chong Kun Dang Pharmaceutical Corp.’s “Naxen” are being sold.