Researchers Find Potentially Dangerous Side Effects Of Arthritis Drug Celebrex

This article was posted today by the University of Buffalo (UB) in its online journal, The Spectrum. The conclusion is that the arthritis drug Celebrex can induce irregular heartbeat rhythms. Here are excerpts:

    On average, over one million Celebrex prescriptions are filled each month, according to the Celebrex Web site. Unlike Vioxx, an arthritis medication that was taken off the market in 2004 due to patients reporting cardiovascular side effects, Celebrex has never been pulled off pharmaceutical shelves. Celebrex is a product of Pfizer.

   Celebrex works by inhibiting an enzyme called COX-2, which has been shown to induce arrhythmia. According to the American Heart Association Web site, "arrhythmias can occur in a healthy heart and be of minimal consequence." However, "they also may indicate a serious problem and lead to heart disease, stroke or sudden cardiac death."

   Increased risks of heart attack or stroke are listed as possible side effects of Celebrex and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) on the Food and Drug Administration’s Web site. Still, Randall D. Shortage, Ph.D., associate professor of biological sciences, said UB’s research finding raises new questions about the drug.

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