What are the Alternatives to Vioxx

With the withdrawal of Vioxx from the pharmaceutical market, doctors and patients are left scrambling for alternatives to Vioxx.


The below is only informational, and is not offered as medical advice! Only your doctor can determine what pain killers will be right for you.

Vioxx is a prescription COX-2 selective, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that was approved by the FDA in May 1999 for the relief of osteoarthritis, for menstrual symptoms, and the management of acute pain in adults. Pain relievers called NSAIDs, work against two enzymes -- COX-1 and COX-2 -- that frequently cause inflammation and pain. Cox-1 is found in the stomach and Vioxx and its alternatives that attack it often cause upset stomachs and ulcers.

Vioxx and Vioxx alternatives are known as a class of drugs called COX-2 inhibitors attack that sole enzyme, minimizing stomach side effects.

Are other alternatives to Vioxx safe? COX-2 drugs have the tendency to raise blood pressure, but only Vioxx has been linked to a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems. Although there is now study showing that some alternatives to Vioxx also cause heart problems. For example, the study released in October 2004 regarding Bextra and heart surgery patients.

Two COX-2 inhibitor alternatives to Vioxx are sold in the U.S. ? Celebrex and Bextra. However, the safety has of these altnernatives to Vioxx been questioned.

Drug manufacturers ? Pharmacia and Pfizer have huge advertising budgets and sales in the millions.

Bextra, an alternative to Vioxx, also known as Valdecoxib, was approved by the FDA in 2001 for the treatment of pain, tenderness, and swelling caused by osteoarthritis and adult rheumatoid arthritis. In some people, especially those with allergies to sulfonamides, this alternative to Vioxx has shown side effects could prove fatal.

Originally, side effects of this alternative to Vioxx included standard ailments such as stomach pain, diarrhea, heartburn, back pain, headache, nausea, and upper respiratory infection.

In November 2002, the FDA increased adverse reactions to include serious and life-threatening skin diseases such as Stevens Johnson Syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, and exfoliative dermatitis. When the FDA made its new warnings about the Bextra alternative to Vioxx, an estimated 800,000 to one million people had taken Bextra since it first went on sale.

Celebrex, another alternative to Vioxx, boasted that it didn't create the heart problems that Vioxx does. Celebrex is no panacea as it may cause bleeding stomach ulcers. None of the COX-2 alternatives to Vioxx are without risks and could possibly be more life threatening than the conditions they are meant to treat.

Non-prescription alternatives to Vioxx include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve).

Another kind of pain reliever, acetaminophen (Tylenol), can also be used. The price of alternatives to Vioxx is far less than Vioxx, Celebrex, and Bextra.

Natural alternatives to Vioxx may include a combination of improved nutritional choices, reasonable exercise and physical therapies, and acupuncture.

. About the Author .

Michael Monheit, Esquire is the managing attorney for Monheit Law. The practice is focuses on plaintiff personal injury cases and Vioxx Lawyers info can be found at Vioxx Lawyer - Monheit Law.

By: Michael Monheit, Esquire, Monheit Law, PC

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