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The incidence of heart attacks and strokes among patients given Pfizer's painkiller Bextra was more than 2 times that of those given placebos, according to preliminary results of a study presented on November 9, 2004 at the American Heart Association meeting in New Orleans. Pharmacia is also a marketer of Bextra.
The study, which pooled data from 5,930 patients taking part in 12 trials, found 2.19 times the number of heart attacks or strokes among patients given Bextra, compared with those given placebos. "The magnitude of the signal with Bextra is even higher than what we saw in Vioxx," Dr. Garret A. FitzGerald, a cardiologist and pharmacologist at the University of Pennsylvania, said in an interview after presenting the data. "This is a time bomb waiting to go off."
In previous studies, Dr. FitzGerald was among the first to explain why COX-2 inhibitor drugs, which were developed to cure pain without causing ulcers, might create heart troubles.
Dr. Curt Furberg, professor of public health sciences at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, helped conduct the study that Dr. FitzGerald announced yesterday. "Basically, we showed that Bextra is no different than Vioxx, and Pfizer is trying to suppress that information," Dr. Furberg said.
In October 2004, Pfizer announced that two clinical trials showed heart bypass surgery patients taking Bextra increased their risk of stroke and heart attack. The news came just weeks after the FDA withdrew Vioxx, a similar COX-2 inhibitor, from the market due to an increased risk of cardiovascular events.
Do you take Bextra? Have you have a heart attack recently or been diagnosed with cardiovascular problems like angina, congestive heart failure, stroke or high blood pressure. If so, it could potentially be linked with your regular use of Bextra. Click on a panel from the left or right side of this page to contact an experienced and qualified Bextra lawyer for immediate legal assistance. You may have a legal claim for damages. But, don't wait too long. There may be time limits (statutes of limitation) within which you must file your lawsuit.
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