Another warning for heart patients who use a popular painkiller.
This time, the Food and Drug Administration says it's adding warning labels to bottles of the arthritis drug Bextra. Specifically, the new label will say Bextra should not be taken for pain after coronary by-pass graft surgery. The FDA says a new study of cardiac patients shows the ones taking Bextra were more likely to have blood clotting problems that those who did not take the drug. A similar drug, Vioxx, was recently pulled from the market because of a link to heart attack and stroke.
Bextra is part of a class of drugs known as "cox-2" inhibitors. Another cox-2 inhibitor, Vioxx, was recently pulled from the market because of concerns about heart attack and stroke risk among users of the product. The FDA is convening a panel in February to review all cox-2 inhibitors. The study cited by the agency included more than 1,500 patients who had recently had heart surgery.