Canadian Study Shows Short-Term Vioxx Toxicity

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May 20, 2006 | 19,716 views

A Canadian study has indicated that, contrary to previous claims that Vioxx was only dangerous with long-term use, those who used the drug were at the highest risk of having a heart attack during the first few weeks.

This may spark further lawsuits against Vioxx manufacturer Merck.

Merck Attacks Credibility

Merck continues to claim that the drug is responsible for no deaths, and denies that they deliberately concealed information about Vioxx's health risks. Merck has already argued that the Canadian study, which was based on patient medical records, has less credibility than Merck's own controlled, clinical studies.

50-50 Record

Merck is already fighting over 11,500 lawsuits from former Vioxx users and their families. So far, it has lost two cases, won two cases, and been given a split verdict in a fifth.

Expect to see the number of Vioxx lawsuits climb even higher as a result of this study. It looked at the medical records of some 4,000 patients over age 65 who took Vioxx along with nearly 6,000 patients taking Celebrex. A quarter of those who suffered a heart attack did so within a few weeks of receiving their first prescription.

It's no surprise that Merck attorneys have blasted the credibility of the study, although it's a rather ironic argument for them to make given that Merck's own studies had the true results doctored.

An interesting factoid: More patients taking Celebrex suffered a heart attack in the study than those using Vioxx, although the researchers did not believe that this necessarily demonstrated that Celebrex increased heart attack risk.

All of this makes you wonder if Merck's strategy in handling the more than 11,500 lawsuits already filed -- battling them one at a time -- will change very soon.

Fortunately, you don't have to repeat the mistakes of the past. You don't have to be mind controlled by the drug companies' messages. You don't have to suffer a fatal side effect.

You have freedom and the power to make a more informed choice.

if you are in pain, there are alternatives to using NSAIDs like Vioxx or over-the-counter painkillers. If you're looking for safer ways to treat your pain without the risks, I urge you to review my seven safe alternatives:

Ginger: This herb is anti-inflammatory and offers pain relief and stomach-settling properties. Fresh ginger works well steeped in boiling water as a tea or grated into vegetable juice.

Boswellia: Also known as boswellin or "Indian frankincense," this herb contains specific active anti-inflammatory ingredients. This is one of my personal favorites as I have seen it work well with many of my rheumatoid arthritis patients

Fish and Krill Oils: The omega-3 fats EPA and DHA found in fish and krill oil have been found, by many animal and clinical studies, to have anti-inflammatory properties that reduce joint inflammation and promote joint lubrication.

Bromelain: This enzyme, found in pineapples, is a natural anti-inflammatory. It can be taken in supplement form, but eating fresh pineapple may also be helpful.

Cetyl Myristoleate (CMO): This oil, found in fish and dairy butter, acts as a "joint lubricant" and an anti-inflammatory. I have also used this for myself to relieve ganglion cysts and a mild annoying carpal tunnel syndrome that pops up when I type too much on non-ergonomic keyboards. I used a topical preparation for this.

Evening Primrose, Black Currant and Borage Oils: These contain the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which is useful for treating arthritic pain. It is reasonable for many to take these as a supplement, particularly if you struggle with dry skin in the winter, as this is a strong indicator that you are deficient in these fats. I personally prefer the use of GLA supplements from evening primrose oil but borage oil contains a higher concentration of GLA, which means you need fewer capsules, and it tends to be less expensive.

Cayenne Cream: Also called capsaicin cream, this spice comes from dried hot peppers. It alleviates pain by depleting the body's supply of substance P, a chemical component of nerve cells that transmits pain signals to the brain.

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