Saturday, October 08, 2005

 

Vioxx Side Effects : Are You Suffering?

Have you ever taken the drug Vioxx or celebrex? In September 2004 the drug manufacturer Merck decided to recall the product after long term data suggested a serious potential side effect.

This drug and others like it such as as 'Celebrex', 'Bextra' and 'Arcoxia' are part of a family of drugs known as "COX2 drugs" or "COX2 inhibitors"

They have been developed with, ironically, patient safety in mind.They are typically used in treatment of arthritis, though high dose vioxx was promoted for short term relief of acute muscular/skeletal pains.They were anti-inflammatory drugs.

The serious side effects were in connection with the heart suggesting risk of heart disease or heart attack.In medical circles it was referred to as "..adverse cardiovascular effects."

There are other drugs used to treat inflammation that have been around for many years.YOu may have heard of products such as Advil or Nurofen which contain the ingredient Ibuprofen.Other older anti-inflammatory drugs include such brands as Voltarol or Naprosyn.

What's the difference between these older drugs and the recent treatments know as "COX2 drugs"?

The newer drugs such as Arcoxia,Celebrex and Vioxx were designed to be much more specific in their mode action than old drugs like Ibuprofen.The idea was to limit the associated problems in long term treatment.

When we get older we all seem to get more sensitive to side effects of drugs.Often this is complicated even more by the fact that we may suffer from more than one problem or disease at the same time.

At this point we take more medication in the last five to ten years of our lives than in all the other years put together! Is it any wonder we might feel under the weather, a little off colour even?

You could have asthma and high blood pressure. Anxiety and lack of sleep every night. Panic attacks and depression.

If you take an anti-inflammatory drug for a given length of time, your doctor/physician will no doubt tell you about one major problem.

Ulceration of the stomach or intestines.....

It was hoped that the newer COX2 drugs would not cause this problem at all.Therefore it would avoid the risk of someone suffering internal bleeding which could become fatal.

The older you become the greater the risk of this occuring. It could be a slow blood loss or a sudden episode of an ulcer bleeding more profusely.

So when people got the signs of ulcers, they got treatment for an ulcer. Some would stop taking medication and others would take a maintenance dose to prevent ulcers coming back while continuing to take the old ibuprofen drugs for their arthritis.

It was hoped drugs like vioxx would stop this, but ulceration still remains a possibility. Doctors routinely consider offering anti ulcer drugs to reduce the probability of this happening.

So what is the all the recent fuss about ? Where did it all suddenly seem to unravel after all that hope and expectation ? A new long term study seemed to indicate some degree of risk to the heart some 18 months or so after starting treatment.

So if you took vioxx for a week or a couple of months, this potential problem did not appear.It has only been spotted after taking the medication for a longer period such as 18 months.

What can you do? Are there ways to reduce risks? This is something you need advice on as only your doctor will have your medical history.There is much to consider and such a problem can in some circumstances be minimised.

Of course if you smoke you increase the risk of stomach or intestinal ulceration if you also take anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen.Why not quit instead?

If you take other medication for depression or anxiety then these drugs can increase the risk of bleeding with any anti-inflammatory drug being taken at the same time.

For more related information visit

http://www.AnxietyAttacksCure.com - a site that offers advice for avoiding, coping with anxiety and panic attacks. Get professional knowledge on dealing with symptoms, drug side effects and improving your life!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

 

Vioxx Personal Injury Lawsuits

Personal injury attorneys representing clients who have allegedly been harmed by the prescription drug Vioxx are congratulating themselves over a historic judgment rendered recently. On August 19, 2005, a judge awarded the family of Bob Ernst $253.4 million due to his death from the drug. Vioxx, which had been prescribed most often for arthritis pain, was withdrawn globally by its maker, Merck, after research trials showed it increased patients' chances of a heart attack. Although Merck pulled the drug off the market in September 2004, legal action against this leading pharmaceutical giant will continue and expand. Let’s take a look at why Vioxx has become a litigation lightning rod.

In 1998 as Merck was running clinical trials for Vioxx, company reports to the FDA stated that there were no cardiovascular signals apparent. This meant that there were no telltale signs that the drug could cause heart problems for users. Later, however, it was revealed that an internal study conducted by Merck around the same time – Study 090 – revealed serious cardiovascular problems as compared to patients not taking Vioxx. The study was never published by Merck as the company insisted that it was not large enough to provide definitive data.

The following year the FDA gave Vioxx its approval and the drug became the second nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication [or COX-2 inhibitor] to hit the market. Celebrex, another problem drug, was the first.

Merck widely and thoroughly launched a marketing campaign upon the introduction of Vioxx to the marketplace. Indeed, by 2003 the drug had entered 80 nations with sales exceeding $2.5 billion. Still, there were problems looming as ongoing tests conducted by Merck hinted of potential deadly side effects.

As early as 2001, the FDA recommended label warnings be put on prescriptions warning users of potential side effects. In addition, Merck was warned by the FDA to quit misleading physicians about potential side effects.

As potential problems began to surface, they served as red flags to industry watchdogs, to the FDA, as well as to personal injury attorneys who began to gather evidence to show that Merck was negligent. Indeed, web sites and advertising campaigns – meant to inform and attract patients harmed by the drug – were launched and fairly soon the internet, radio, television, and print media were flooded with advertisements asking those suspecting harm from Vioxx to come forward.

With the September 2004 announcement that Merck was withdrawing Vioxx, personal injury litigation was well on its way to being established. By early 2005, the first cases were filed and the Ernst case became the first Vioxx lawsuit to be settled.

Wrongful death lawsuits against Vioxx’s maker, Merck, are expected to increase as the result of the Ernst decision. Personal injury attorneys insist that thousands of former Vioxx users and/or their families are due compensation for Merck’s neglect. It remains to be seen if juries will render judgments as large as the Ernst judgment and whether courts will uphold these amounts. Nevertheless, it is certain that Merck is in for a long battle that will reach well beyond its US base.

Matthew Keegan is The Article Writer who writes on just about any and every issue imaginable. You can preview samples from his high performing site at http://www.thearticlewriter.com

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

 

Vioxx, What Is The Truth?

By S.A. Baker

For many people, Vioxx is a drug they have taken for years. Until recently, it was prescribed for many reasons. It worked for so many people that taking it away seems unnatural. But, for others, Vioxx has caused quite a bit of damage within their lives. People who have taken Vioxx may have experienced heart attacks, strokes, or even death as a result. If this is you, you need to know what to do to get the proper compensation for your suffering.

Vioxx is a drug that is used to treat arthritis and acute pain. For many, it never caused a bit of trouble. But, studies have shown and proof is out there that Vioxx does run some high risks that are quite serious. If you have been taking this drug, Vioxx, and have experienced problems or conditions of heart attack, stroke, or worse, you should contact an attorney to find out if you have a case against the makers of Vioxx.

Do you know where to find a Vioxx attorney? Do you know what to ask, how to know if you were affected by Vioxx, and even whether or not you have a Vioxx case? There are many resources available to help you find information regarding Vioxx and its effects on people. Although you may have not known these risks, you may still have been exposed to them. You should seek the advice of your doctor, of course, if you are currently taking Vioxx and ask what you need to do to avoid it. But, then, you may also want to contact a Vioxx knowledgeable lawyer to find out if you have a case.

In order to know if you have a case against the makers of Vioxx, you will need to speak with a qualified attorney whom can offer comprehensive information regarding the specifics of Vioxx. You can also find helpful information on Vioxx, at websites like www.thesmartattorneys.com. For those taking Vioxx, you will have to first speak to your doctor, then your attorney. Vioxx, what has it caused in you?

S A Baker is staff writer at http://www.thesmartattorneys.com

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

 

Vioxx Withdrawl and Drug Litigation

On Sept. 30, 2004 Merck announced a worldwide withdrawal of Vioxx® (rofecoxib). Vioxx had previously been prescribed in the treatment of arthritis and pain. Worldwide sales of Vioxx in 2003 were an estimated $2.5Billion and the drug was marketed in more than 80 countries around the world. This is one of several recent pharmaceutical products to have been put in the spotlight by both the national media and plaintiff lawyers.

Since sometime in the mid to late 90s a substantial number of pharmaceutical medications and medical devices have been removed from the market due to possible adverse health implications. The FDA acts as a regulatory body in approving health related products before they are marketed to consumers. The FDA moved to ban Ephedra in the US in 2004. However, the recent headlines about voluntary drug withdrawals have produced questions as to the FDA's recent performance.

Many people believe that the FDA did not test the drugs rigorously enough to determine all the possible health problems that they might cause. People believe that the rise in litigation over these medications was due to the fact that the FDA now allows pharmaceutical companies to “fast track” their products and get them through the process in a year. In fact, Vioxx was only released in 1999.

Some of the latest drugs where concerns have also arose are Bextra, Celebrex and Zyprexa. Litigation over these drugs may commence in the near future. US plaintiff lawyers have begun to put some serious time and research into possible claims that may arise from pharmaceutical drugs. Plaintiff lawyers also handle Mesothelioma, Car Accident, and a wide variety of different personal injury cases.

If you think that you may have been injured by a prescription drug that has recently made headlines, you may consider consulting with a lawyer. Many plaintiff attorneys handle cases on a contingency basis.

More law information can be found at http://www.legalclips.com.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

 

Vioxx Recall Lawsuits

The drug Vioxx is a COX-2 inhibitor designed by the company Merck Inc. It was ordered to be pulled from American and European markets on April 7th 2005 after it was discovered that there were potentially deadly side effects from its use.

Doctors and researchers both believed that the drug Vioxx could cause cardiovascular problems and recently a Texas jury awarded a $253.4 million wrongful death settlement to the widow of a man who allegedly died from Vioxx-related complications.

Experts will now agree that Merck knew of the danger the Vioxx presented, but instead chose to market the drug as a safe way to reduce pain and inflammation. This terrible misjudgment has lead to a variety of dangerous and deadly complications including deep vein thrombosis, stroke, pulmonary embolism, blood clots and other serious heart damage.

Currently there are 4200 pending lawsuits filed against Merck. Friends and families of Vioxx victims must attempt to pick up their shattered lives and face the reality that negligence, deception and greed have robbed them of their loved ones. Merck gambled with the pharmaceutical industry and lost.

If you believe that you may be affected with Vioxx complications please take a stand. Drug makers are hoping that victims of Vioxx will remain silent due to fear and intimidation. A Vioxx lawsuit might be the most effective way to show Merck and other drug makers that they must be accountable for their actions.

About The Author


T.Going

Please visit
http://www.sddefenselawyers.com/vioxx-recall/ to find out more on the Vioxx Recall Lawsuits and Vioxx Heart Attacks.

 

What's The Latest In Vioxx

by: Blur Loterina

Are you a Vioxx victim? Here’s something you have to know.

Many people from all over the world were victimized by this drug. The Vioxx was produced by Merck and Pharmacia. It comes in liquid and pill form. It is a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is used to relieve osteoarthritis, rheumatic arthritis and acute pain. NSAID is referred to as drug with analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory effects. It reduces pain, fever and inflammation, such as muscle strain or sprain. NSAID is sometimes called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent or NSAIA. Aspirin and ibuprofen belongs to this class.

The Vioxx also contains cyclooxygenase, an enzyme that controls inflammation. It belongs to the COX-2 inhibitors. COX-2 has been good cure for arthritis pain, which afflicts tens of millions of people in the world. The Vioxx works by blocking COX-2 enzymes in the body that trigger pain and inflammation.

However, very relieving as it may sound, this arthritis drug rofecoxib was proven to cause and doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Class action suits filed against Merck begun in 2002. Doctors told their patients about the bad effects this drug cause. In October 5, 2004, a worldwide class action lawsuit against Merck and Co. was filed.

In September 30, 2004, Merck officially announced of voluntary recall of Vioxx from all markets worldwide. A warning was issued to prevent people from taking the Vioxx and to return all unused pills. It also causes other life-threatening diseases, such as, blood clots, angina and nonbacterial meningitis, severe intestinal damage, ulcerations and bleeding, and kidney damage. Other minor side effects include flu symptoms, weakness, loss of appetite, rash or pail skin, swelling of hand feet and other extremities.

Many blamed the Food and Drug Administration or the FDA, because it is its duty to assure people of harmless foods and drugs. Also, the FDA was blamed for giving Merck a fast-track, 6-month approval process. Vioxx was distributed in the United States in 1999. They want FDA to push drug companies to conduct longer tests before they can sell it so that people are given the right warning.

In January 27, 2005, the consolidation of all Vioxx cases was argued in front of federal judges in Florida by the attorneys. A preliminary hearing will be held before the judge after the decision is made public. Now, there are web sites that offer free consultations for Vioxx victims.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

 

Merck Announces Worldwide Vioxx Recall



WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., Sept. 30, 2004—Merck & Co., Inc. today announced a voluntary worldwide withdrawal of VIOXX® (rofecoxib), its arthritis and acute pain medication. The company’s decision, which is effective immediately, is based on new, three-year data from a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial, the APPROVe (Adenomatous Polyp Prevention on VIOXX) trial.

The trial, which is being stopped, was designed to evaluate the efficacy of VIOXX 25 mg in preventing recurrence of colorectal polyps in patients with a history of colorectal adenomas. In this study, there was an increased relative risk for confirmed cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke, beginning after 18 months of treatment in the patients taking VIOXX compared to those taking placebo. The results for the first 18 months of the APPROVe study did not show any increased risk of confirmed cardiovascular events on VIOXX, and in this respect, are similar to the results of two placebo-controlled studies described in the current U.S. labeling for VIOXX.

“We are taking this action because we believe it best serves the interests of patients,” said Raymond V. Gilmartin, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Merck. “Although we believe it would have been possible to continue to market VIOXX with labeling that would incorporate these new data, given the availability of alternative therapies, and the questions raised by the data, we concluded that a voluntary withdrawal is the responsible course to take.”

APPROVe was a multi-center, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study to determine the effect of 156 weeks (three years) of treatment with VIOXX on the recurrence of neoplastic polyps of the large bowel in patients with a history of colorectal adenoma. The trial enrolled 2,600 patients and compared VIOXX 25 mg to placebo. The trial began enrollment in 2000.

VIOXX was launched in the United States in 1999 and has been marketed in more than 80 countries. In some countries, the product is marketed under the trademark CEOXX. Worldwide sales of VIOXX in 2003 were $2.5 billion.

Results of the VIGOR (VIOXX Gastrointestinal Outcomes Research) study, released in March 2000, demonstrated that the risk of gastrointestinal toxicity with VIOXX was less than with naproxen, but indicated an increased risk of cardiovascular events versus naproxen. However, in other studies including Merck’s Phase III studies that were the basis of regulatory approval of the product, there was not an increased risk of cardiovascular events with VIOXX compared with placebo or VIOXX compared with other non-naproxen non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Merck began long-term randomized clinical trials to provide an even more comprehensive picture of the cardiovascular safety profile of VIOXX.

“Merck has always believed that prospective, randomized, controlled clinical trials are the best way to evaluate the safety of medicines. APPROVe is precisely this type of study—and it has provided us with new data on the cardiovascular profile of VIOXX,” said Peter S. Kim, Ph.D., president of Merck Research Laboratories. “While the cause of these results is uncertain at this time, they suggest an increased risk of confirmed cardiovascular events beginning after 18 months of continuous therapy. While we recognize that VIOXX benefited many patients, we believe this action is appropriate.”

Merck has informed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and regulatory authorities in other countries of its decision. The company also is in the process of notifying health care practitioners in the United States and other countries where VIOXX is marketed. Patients who are currently taking VIOXX should contact their health care providers to discuss discontinuing use of VIOXX and possible alternative treatments. In addition, patients and health care professionals may obtain information from www.merck.com and www.vioxx.com, or may call (888) 36-VIOXX (1-888-368-4699).

The results of clinical studies with one molecule in a given class are not necessarily applicable to others in the class. Therefore, the clinical significance of the APPROVe trial, if any, for the long-term use of other drugs in this class, consisting of COX-2 specific inhibitors and NSAIDs, is unknown. The company will work with regulatory authorities in the 47 countries where ARCOXIA is approved to assess whether changes to the prescribing information for this class of drugs, including ARCOXIA, are warranted. Merck is continuing to seek approval for ARCOXIA in other countries, including the United States.

Merck will continue its extensive clinical program to collect additional longer-term data for ARCOXIA, its medication for arthritis and acute pain.

With regard to financial guidance, prior to today’s announcement, Merck remained comfortable with its 2004 earnings per share guidance of $3.11 to $3.17. The company currently expects earnings per share to be negatively affected by $0.50 to $0.60 as a result of today’s announcement. This estimate includes foregone sales, writeoffs of inventory held by Merck, customer returns of product previously sold and costs to undertake the pullback of the product. Included in this cost estimate is the expectation of foregone fourth quarter sales of VIOXX of $700 million to $750 million. In addition, Merck expects that worldwide approximately one month of inventory is held by customers and will be returned.

At this point it is uncertain which of these costs will be recorded in the third quarter and which will be recorded in the fourth quarter. Therefore, at this point, Merck is retracting the third quarter guidance it had previously provided.

Merck will report third-quarter earnings on Oct. 21. At that point, the company will provide additional information regarding the costs for product withdrawal.

About Merck

Merck & Co., Inc. is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company. Merck discovers, develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of innovative products to improve human and animal health, directly and through its joint ventures.

Forward Looking Statement

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve risks and uncertainties, which may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in the statements. The forward-looking statements may include statements regarding product development, product potential or financial performance. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed, and actual results may differ materially from those projected. Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect Merck’s business, particularly those mentioned in the cautionary statements in Item 1 of Merck’s Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2003, and in its periodic reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K (if any), which the company incorporates by reference.


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