Arthritis Drug Bad for Heart - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/26/04

Arthritis Drug Bad for Heart

New research is raising concerns over the arthritis drug Vioxx. A medical officer with the FDA reviewed the health of more than a million patients with arthritis and found that Vioxx appears to triple the risk of heart problems, particularly when taken in high doses. Researchers say even in low doses that Vioxx may double the risk of heart attacks.

"This is disturbing, and I think doctors that are prescribing Vioxx, in particular high doses of Vioxx, as well as patients, especially on the higher doses of Vioxx, really ought to think twice," says Dr. Deepak Bhatt, cardiologist.

This research was headed by Dr. David Graham, who is a medical officer in the Food and Drug Administration's office of drug safety who used data from over a million patients for this study. But the FDA say the findings of this study are not necessarily the views of the FDA.

Both Dr. Graham and the FDA note that the findings of this study are not necessarily the views of the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Graham used data from over a million patients insured by the HMO, Kaiser Permanente, for the study.

Researchers note the findings suggest an increased risk, but that more study is needed before it warrants further exploration.

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