Thursday, October 16, 2008

Long-term study confirms Vioxx heart risks

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A long-term analysis of people who took the arthritis drug Vioxx confirms it doubles the risk of strokes and heart attacks, researchers said on Monday, but this risk goes away a year after people stop taking it.

And other drugs in the same class of painkillers known as Cox-2 inhibitors may cause similar harm, they said.

"The good news is the data suggests that the risk doesn't persist forever. The risk goes back toward normal after a year of follow up," said Dr. Robert Bresalier of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas, whose study appears in the journal Lancet.

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