Not a great week if you happen to be a COX-2 drug. Not only do they cause the very thing they were designed not to do, it could be they also cause heart failure.
A study of the COX-2 drug Vioxx (rofecoxib) has found that it may dramatically increase the risk of congestive heart failure, and by an alarming 80 per cent. The good news, if any can be gleaned from such a finding, is that COX patients with normal, healthy hearts had nothing to worry about. In other words, the drug exacerbates a preexisting condition.
The findings were based on a trial among 45,000 elderly patients in Ontario (those Canadians again), half of whom took Vioxx or another pain reliever, while the rest didn't take any drug therapy.
After a year, researchers discovered that those who took Vioxx had an 80 per cent increased tendency for developing heart failure, while those on ibuprofen saw their risk increase by 40 per cent. Celebrex was the only pain reliever that wasn't linked to an increased risk.
(Source: Toronto Star, May 28, 2004).