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NEWS: Merck Discontinues Arthritis Medication Due to Health Risks

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posted on Sep, 30 2004 @ 01:43 PM
Pharmaceutical company Merck announced today they were discontinuing production and sale of the wildly popular arthritis medicin Vioxx. Clinical testing 5 years after the drug entered the market showed it doubled a patient's risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions. Vioxx is taken by millions of arthritis sufferers around the world to ease their pain, and was also believed to be a key drug in preventing some cancers.
Merck said Thursday that data from the trial showed the increased risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular complications began 18 months after patients started taking Vioxx. About 2 million people worldwide are currently taking Vioxx, according to Merck, and a total of 84 million have taken it since it came on the market with great fanfare in 1999.

The data comes from a three-year study aimed at showing that Vioxx at a 25 milligram dose prevents recurrence of polyps in the colon and rectum. Such polyps can turn cancerous. The trial was stopped after Merck discovered study participants had double the risk of a heart attack compared to other participants taking dummy pills.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Merck has not commented as to why these heath risks were not discovered during pre-released clinical trials. Shares of the company's stock plummeted on news of the discontinuation.

[edit on 30-9-2004 by Banshee]

posted on Sep, 30 2004 @ 01:49 PM
Ya, everyone and their mothers has been calling up Pfizer today requesting copies of the Kaiser Permenente study on Vioxx. I'm going to go outside and hide in the bushes for the rest of the day.

posted on Sep, 30 2004 @ 01:55 PM
Shares of Merck have dropped $30/share, and the Dow is following in a big drop today. Not a good day to have pharmashares.

posted on Sep, 30 2004 @ 01:58 PM
Pfizer has similar drugs Celebrex and Bextra. Pfizer shares took a jump up this morning on the report going out.

posted on Sep, 30 2004 @ 07:26 PM
I was taking Vioxx as prescribed by my Doctor, I was having side effects, so I mentioned how they were affecting me on the next visit, she didn't think is was enought to warrant being taken off them.

The side effects continued so I decided to stop taking them altogether, henceforth no more problems apart from the pain from the Arthritis which I would prefer to what I was experiencing...

The thing is why don't Doctors listen to what is going on with these drugs........................

posted on Sep, 30 2004 @ 07:34 PM
My husband was on Vioxx for migraines. He had no strange side effects.

What bothers me about this news is no one seems to be concerned with the patients. They are concerned with how this has affected the stock market, what about all the people that have been affected by this drug?

posted on Sep, 30 2004 @ 08:26 PM
the potential lawsuits could possibly bankrupt merck...celebrex & bextra are very similar to vioxx chemically - I would assume that studies must be commenced immediately, if in fact they are not already being done...

posted on Sep, 30 2004 @ 08:46 PM

Originally posted by Banshee
Merck has not commented as to why these heath risks were not discovered during pre-released clinical trials.

Maybe the trial weren't extensive enough. Maybe the public is part of the testing. The companies seem to want to get THEIR drugs on the market ASAP, especially if a competing company has a similar drug.
And, I don't think this is the first time a drug's safety was questioned after release.

Anyone feel like a guinea pig?

posted on Sep, 30 2004 @ 08:49 PM
This sucks

I am on vioxx and can hardly move without it I am calling my doctor to see whats up

posted on Sep, 30 2004 @ 10:07 PM
I'd been taking Celebrex for my Rhuematoid Arthritus... it made me sick to my stomach so I started taking Vioxx.

Reguardless of what everybody thinks, I SWEAR I didn't stop taking it because it made me feel like crap and was tired of poppin pills every morning, honest. It was just incredible foresight!

Vioxx did some weird stuff to me, nothing related to my heart though, it was still unpleasent enough to stop taking it.

The real scary thing is, when she rpescribed it, I asked what it was, and she told me it was used to heart attack patients as a preventative medicine.

[edit on 30-9-2004 by DamnableSara]

posted on Sep, 30 2004 @ 10:55 PM
I also was prescribed both Viox and Celebrex when they first came out on the market around 1998 or so. I became violently ill and burst a blood vessel coming off my aorta and underwent a one time fix. Now I suffer from severe RA as well as an enlarged heart. I no longer am capable of most everything and am on disability. I can not be certain what has caused my disability the medication I once took or the tick that infected me before I was prescribed the medicine.
The fact is I am screwed.

posted on Oct, 1 2004 @ 07:34 AM

If the FDA approves something, it means NOTHING


When it comes to your life or those you care about, dig to find some objective research. Don't listen to co-opted doctors either.

posted on Oct, 1 2004 @ 07:39 AM

Originally posted by tututkamen
I. I can not be certain what has caused my disability the medication I once took or the tick that infected me before I was prescribed the medicine.
The fact is I am screwed.

This is wild MINE started as an infected tick bite

posted on Oct, 1 2004 @ 07:56 AM
Glad I don't own stock in the company. Did Bush ever get that bill passed that would prevent the patients from suing the Company?

Hate to say this, though, I apologize to all those who have been put on this drug, but I'm kind of happy this came out....maybe it will put a wrench into Bush's Mental Health Screening program. The drugs he wants to use tax-money to get for all those "mentally ill" people that they find out there haven't been out there for five years, I don't think, and they are already being questioned...

posted on Oct, 1 2004 @ 08:02 AM
I was put on vioxx prior to having shoulder surgery for almost a year, and before that it was prescribed for other "female pain" no associated with arthritis, so actually I was on vioxx for about two years. I was taking 20 mg a day twice.

posted on Oct, 1 2004 @ 08:44 PM
Vioxx, in my opinion, isn't even that effective of a pain killer. It only ever served to lightly dull any pain, and make me feel uncomfortable all the time.

The way this drug is prescribed seems a little sloppy to me... given what everybody has had to say. Since Vioxx, I don't take anything without checking WebMD first.

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