What About COX-2 Inhibitors And Reported Risk Of Stroke/Heart Attack?

Dr. Griffin answers the question: 'COX-2 Inhibitors And Heart Attack Risk?'

— -- Question: I Heard There Is An Increased Risk Of Heart Attacks And Strokes With COX-2 Inhibitors. Is This Something To Consider?

Answer: OK, so there were two COX-2 inhibitors -- Vioxx or rofecoxib, and valdecoxib or Bextra -- that were taken off the market because they were shown to have a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes than other NSAIDs.

We really don't know the risk associated with most NSAIDs on the market. We know that most of these drugs, including the older NSAIDs and the only COX-2 available, celecoxib, can increase blood pressure. And when blood pressure is increased, that can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

So, there may be some risk associated with all of these drugs, although that has not been proven. I think that people who used these drugs on a chronic basis, day after day, for weeks or months, really need to have their blood pressure checked regularly, and they may want to talk to their doctor about whether these drugs are good for them.

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