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WHAT'S THE LATEST IN VIOXX

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.


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