Vioxx Heart Attack and Stroke FAQsWritten by Michael Monheit, Esquire, Monheit Law, PC
== What are grounds for Vioxx stroke or Celebrex litigation? == Vioxx and Celebrex were billed as safe alternatives for people who suffer from chronic pain. In reality, they are expensive drugs that for most people provide no better treatment than older, less expensive medications. Far from having no side effects, these drugs share many of same side effects of older NSAID medications. Despite claims to contrary, new research has shown that patients who use these drugs are at risk of Vioxx heart attacks, stroke problems, liver damage, kidney damage, stomach ulcers, and other serious complications. == What has been done so far with regard to Vioxx heart attack and Celebrex litigation? == One class action suit has already been filed. Others are pending.
== What options do I have if Iíve been affected by Vioxx or Celebrex? == You may qualify for future class action litigation against these drug makers. You may also have grounds for an individual suit for specific damages.
== What are treatments for disorders caused by Vioxx and Celebrex? == Check with your doctor first. You may be able to use another pain relief medication. Older NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen work well for some patients. Other patients may not be able to use these medications.
== What are dangers of Vioxx and Celebrex? Vioxx:Heart Attacks == Stomach ulcers and intestinal bleeding are most common dangers. There is also a risk of Vioxx heart attack and stroke.
== Other side effects of these medications include: == Serious stomach problems, such as stomach and intestinal bleeding, can occur with or without warning symptoms. These problems, if severe, could lead to hospitalization or death. Although this happens rarely, you should watch for signs that you may have these serious side effects and tell your doctor immediately. Serious allergic reactions including swelling of face, lips, tongue, and/or throat which may cause difficulty breathing or swallowing occur rarely but may require treatment right away. Serious kidney problems occur rarely, including acute kidney failure and worsening of chronic kidney failure. Severe liver problems occur rarely in patients taking NSAIDs. Tell your doctor if you develop symptoms of liver problems. These include nausea, tiredness, itching, tenderness in right upper abdomen, and flu-like symptoms.
What was done about the inadequate Vioxx warnings? Written by Michael Monheit, Esquire, Monheit Law, PC
For years leading up to its withdraw, FDA had taken steps to force Merck and Pharmacia, makers of these drugs, to disclose risks associated with their products. Changes in medication labels have been made, along with orders to cease misleading advertising practices.
Doctors finally began to speak out and to inform their patients about actual benefits, cost, and problems of Vioxx and Celebrex.
Class action suits were filed against Merck, maker of Vioxx. The lawsuits are pending.
The warnings on Vioxx were late to come and drug should have been pulled sooner.
Finally, on September 30, 2004, Merck got message and pulled Vioxx from shelves, and issued a Vioxx warning -- patients should stop taking Vioxx and return unused pills. The Vioxx warning came as a result of a study that showed drug doubled risk of heart attack and stroke. At same time, it sounded an Vioxx warning alarm for millions of people who took Vioxx.
The FDA should force companies like Merck to issue warnings on Vioxx sooner The Food and Drug Administration needs to push drug companies harder to do long-term safety studies of drugs on market once concerns develop so that a better Vioxx warning would have been developed before so many people were harmed.
Without FDA pushing for these studies to develop better warning public about dangers of drugs like Vioxx, according to University of Pennsylvania bioethicist Arthur Caplan problem is like "we're relying on fox to tell us about what's wrong inside chicken coop."