Back in 2014, we told you how the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a generic version of Celebrex – a COX-2 non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), commonly prescribed to rheumatoid and osteoarthritis patients.
Celebrex is the only COX-2 selective inhibitor left on the shelf. The other two, Bextra and Vioxx, were both voluntarily pulled off the market. In fact, when Vioxx was withdrawn from the market in 2004, it had already been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular events, and tens of thousands of people died because of this drug ?¦
And for as long as Celebrex is on the market… arthritis sufferers are still not safe.
Heart attacks and strokes in one single pill
The only thing that is different about the generic version of Celebrex is its name, Celecoxib… As for the side effects nothing has changed. I’m talking about a serious risk of cardiovascular problems like heart attacks, strokes, heart failure ?¦ and death. In fact, back in 2004, two Celebrex studies were stopped because the heart risks were so high.
In 2012, Pfizer was taken to court – not over health concerns surrounding Celebrex but because they misled their investors. It turned out that Pfizer “cherry picked” the data they sent to the FDA about this drug. And while they were picking and choosing what titbits to give the agency, they were publicly boasting of its advantages.
A Pfizer research director was so excited after its “data” was featured at a medical conference, saying that Celebrex was safer on the stomach, he sent an email that said: “They swallowed our story, hook, line and sinker.”
Well, at least not everyone has swallowed the story.
The consumer watchdog group Public Citizen has had Celebrex – celecoxib – on its “do not use” list for years.
And even the mainstream US Consumer Reports says to only use the drug “as a last resort,” and only if you are at low risk for heart disease, don’t have diabetes, high cholesterol levels or high blood pressure.
So don’t fall for the generic name. Celecoxib is still Celebrex. And you shouldn’t swallow it hook, line and sinker.
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“FDA approves generic version of painkiller Celebrex” May 30, 2014, Philly.Com, philly.com
“Celebrex is a threat to the heart” Liz Szabo, USA Today, usatoday.com
“In documents on pain drug, signs of doubt and deception” Katie Thomas, June 24, 2012, The New York Times, nytimes.com