Ankylose This! Living with Ankylosing Spondylitis

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Breaking news: Vioxx withdrawn from the market

Citing data from a three-year colon cancer trial that showed an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes after 18 months of taking the drug, Merck & Co. announced a worldwide withdrawal of the popular cox-2 anti-inflammatory drug Vioxx (rofecoxib) today (CBC, Reuters). In its press release, Merck essentially told patients to stop taking the drug:

Patients who are currently taking VIOXX should contact their health care providers to discuss discontinuing use of VIOXX and possible alternative treatments.  In addition, patients and health care professionals may obtain information from and, or may call (888) 36-VIOXX (1-888-368-4699).

Vioxx is one of the most frequently-prescribed medications out there: in Canada, it's been in the top ten since 2001. I personally have never taken it, but I know one or two friends who've been on it for serious injuries or chronic conditions.

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