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Even After Stopping Treatment, Vioxx Heart Risks Continue | cialis online

Even After Stopping Treatment, Vioxx Heart Risks Continue

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People who took Vioxx continued face an risk of heart attack and stroke for a year after they stopped taking the now-banned painkiller, according to a new study. It is also likely that long-term use of other NSAIDs pose similar risks, the authors of the study said.

This latest Vioxx study involved  followed people who had participated in the international APPROVe trial, which compared Vioxx to placebo over 3 years in an attempt to see whether the drug could cut the recurrence of cancerous colon polyps. The trial was stopped early in 2004 because of the increased risk for heart attacks and stroke. Nearly 2600 people participated in the APPROVe trial, and the authors of the Lancet study said they were able to contact about 84 percent of them.

According to the study, former Vioxx users still had a 79 percent increased risk of heart attack, stroke or death compared with those who had received placebo.  Individual patients faced double  the risk of heart attack or stroke in the year after stopping the drug. The increased risk of dying was 31 percent compared with those who had taken placebo, the researchers noted.

Co-author of the study, Dr. Robert Bresalier, told the Washington Post that it is probable that all non-aspirin NSAIDs – such as Celebrex, ibuprofen and naproxen – can  also increase the risk of cardiovascular problems.  “Similar data has been evident for some of the other cox-2 inhibitors,” Bresalier said. “In fact, it seems to be a class effect for most if not all NSAIDs.”

For that reasone, patients with pre-existing cardiac problems should avoid long-term use of these drugs.  However, the risk is small when NSAIDS are taken for short periods of time for intermittent pain relief.

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