10 Things You Should Know About Pain Relievers
From Vioxx to Ibuprofen, WebMD Helps You Understand the Risks
Feb. 22, 2005 - After three grueling days of meetings, an FDA expert panel
recommendations last week regarding Vioxx and other so-called Cox-2
inhibitors, such as Celebrex and Bextra. They also had a few things to say
about the older anti-inflammatory pain relievers.
In order to help you sift through this confusing and controversial topic,
WebMD's doctors put together this list of 10 things you need to know about pain
- Among the arthritis drugs known as Cox-2 inhibitors, Vioxx has been most strongly linked to heart
attacks and strokes.
- heart attacks and strokes.Celebrex at the most common dose of 200 mg per
day has not been linked to an increase in
- Of all the Cox-2 inhibitors, the least amount is known about Bextra because fewer studies have been done
evaluating its potential risks.
- An FDA warning about Bextra applies only to patients undergoing heart
- Cox-2 inhibitors don't treat pain any better than older anti-inflammatory
drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen.
- Most people on Cox-2 inhibitors don't need them and can use an older
anti-inflammatory drug. Cox-2 drugs are meant for people who have had a stomach
ulcer or are at high risk of stomach bleeding, such as people on the blood
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is not an anti-inflammatory drug and has never been
linked to heart attacks and strokes.Almost all anti-inflammatory drugs, including
the Cox-2 inhibitors and the older drugs, carry some increased risk of heart
attack and stroke.
- Although one report linked naproxen (brand names Aleve and Naprosyn) to an
increase in heart attacks, experts feel that was unjustified and unnecessarily
scared the public. Naproxen may actually be the one
anti-inflammatory drug that may lower heart attack risk other than
- The FDA expert panel does not have the final say. The official FDA decision
is expected to be announced in the next few weeks. The FDA typically follows
the suggestions of its expert panels.