Heart Failure: What was known about Vioxx Heart Failure?: Other than the heart failure risks which have been since discovered (Vioxx heart failure), Vioxx was marketed as being free of the side effects
commonly associated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Unfortunately, studies conducted after Vioxx was already
on the market found that many of the same side effects that had been
associated with other NSAIDs were also associated with these
medications. Worse, many of these complications could occur without
warning. It also appears that the risk increases the longer the
medication is used. We know know that Vioxx can cause heart failure in as less than 18 months of usage
What Vioxx heart failure warnings were issued, and when were the Vioxx heart failure warnings issued?: In April 2002, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
ordered a change in the Vioxx label information to include warnings
based on the newly available information. The updated label says,
"Serious problems from stomach ulcers, such as bleeding, are well-known
complications in people treated with NSAIDs." Similar problems have
occurred in people treated with Vioxx, although very rarely.
What problems other that Vioxx Heart Failure were known by Merck?:
likelihood of stomach problems increases the longer you take drugs like
Vioxx. However, even short-term treatment is not without risk. These
problems can happen without any warning, but in some people may cause
symptoms such as gnawing or burning stomach pain, black or tarry stools,
or vomiting. If this happens, stop taking Vioxx and call your health
care provider right away." Similar warnings were ordered to appear on
labels for Celebrex. Further, warnings were needed about the Vioxx heart failure and stroke risks. The FDA also concluded that the label should
include warnings of possible liver and kidney damage associated with
Vioxx and Celebrex, as well as the Vioxx heart failure risks.
Research published in the Journal of
the American Medical Association concluded that both drugs may
slightly increase the risk of heart attacks. Data from the Vioxx
Gastrointestinal Outcomes Research indicated that the risk of heart
attacks might be four or five times greater with Vioxx than with
naproxen, an older anti-inflammatory drug.
Vioxx has also been linked to at least 12 cases of nonbacterial
meningitis (an inflammation of the membrane coverings of the brain).
Because the two medications are chemically very similar to one another,
experts believe that other COX-2 inhibitors, including Celebrex, would
carry the same risks.
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 this serious side effect 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 Vioxx heart failure as well as kidney problems occur rarely, including acute kidney failure and
worsening of chronic kidney failure.
For more information on Vioxx heart failure cases, click
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 the right upper abdomen, and flu-like
common, non-life threatening, side effects include:
Upper and/or lower respiratory infection and/or inflammation
Nausea and/or vomiting
Heartburn, stomach pain, and upset
Swelling of the legs and/or feet
Urinary tract infection.
We are not currently accepting new Vioxx cases. You should consult another attorney for an opinion on your case.