If you're still taking Celebrex – a drug often prescribed for arthritis, menstrual cramps, and acute pain – Consumer Reports thinks there are good reasons to take another look at whether taking the drug is the right choice for you.
Nearly a decade after reports linking celecoxib (Celebrex) to an increased risk of heart attack, and two years after the American Heart Association warned against the drug for people at risk of heart problems, about 11 million prescriptions for it are still filled each year, Consumer Reports said in its article "Should You Still Take Celebrex?"
Why are so many consumers still using Celebrex? It’s being widely promoted by the pharmaceutical company that manufactures it. Consumer Reports states in its article:
Pfizer, maker of celecoxib, has resumed heavily advertising it directly to consumers, spending $54.8 million on ads in 2007 and $58.5 million in 2008. A new ad – a full two minutes long, and also available online at www.celebrex.com/ depicts a man walking a dog and riding a bike. It suggests that the drug is no riskier than other related nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Advil and generic) and naproxen (Aleve and generic).
Celecoxib may be appropriate for a small number of patients, according to Consumer Reports, but the consumer magazine has strong reservations about consumers using the drug because:
- It's probably harder on the heart.
- It may not be much easier on the gut.
- It's no more effective.
- It's more expensive.
See the article for details.
If you think you’ve experienced an adverse event with this drug or any drug, especially if it’s of a serious nature, it’s important to (1) tell your doctor immediately and (2) report the event to the Food and Drug Administration via the FDA's MedWatch Web site at http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/medwatch-online.htm or by calling 1-800-FDA-1088.
Copyright 2009, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist