Source Pravda.Ru

Pfizer's painkilling drugs may cause side effects

US regulators called Thursday for use of Pfizer's painkilling drugs Celebrex and Bextra to be limited, urging doctors to keep in mind indications of higher heart attack and stroke risks.

The &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/18/90/360/13642_contacts.html ' target=_blank>Food and Drug Administration issued a press release saying it was "recommending limited use of Cox-2 inhibitors." Cox-2 inhibitors are the latest type of non-steroid painkiller.

The only "Cox-2 inhibitors" still on the market are Celebrex and Bextra, both made by Pfizer. Vioxx, made by Merck and Co., was withdrawn in September because of increased risk of heart attacks informs the Turkish Press.

According to the Detroit News, these older pills came to market decades ago as prescription drugs when standards for approval were more relaxed -- Aleve, generically called naproxen, was available by prescription only for nearly 20 years before the over-the-counter version was approved a decade ago. Prescription-strength naproxen still is sold.

In the past, studies were smaller and less comprehensive, sometimes lasting weeks or months. Today, studies can run for years.

One reason safety problems such as these are coming to light now is that larger, longer drug trials -- such as the government's Alzheimer's disease-prevention study that sounded alarm bells about Aleve -- are putting some of these older drugs to more rigorous tests. A clinical trial can tease out safety signals that may have been lurking undetected or underappreciated.

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