Daily Health Headlines

Celebrex May Not Pose Bigger Heart Risk Than Similar Drugs: Study

👤by HealthDay 0 comments 🕔Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

MONDAY, Nov. 14, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Some people taking the pain reliever Celebrex may not have a greater risk for heart problems than those taking other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), a new study says.

Celebrex (celecoxib) is a COX-2 inhibitor. That's the same class of drugs as Vioxx and Bextra, which were pulled from the market in 2004 and 2005, respectively, because they were linked to heart problems. Celebrex didn't seem to share the same issues, so has remained available.

And the new trial's "primary message is that celecoxib is not riskier for the heart than other NSAIDs," said study director Dr. Steven Nissen in a Cleveland Clinic news release. Nissen is chair of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine.

Nissen's prior research was instrumental in uncovering the cardiovascular risks associated with COX-2 inhibitors.

The new study seems to reaffirm Celebrex's safety profile. However, several heart disease specialists aren't convinced that this study's findings are sufficient to say that Celebrex is safe for people with a high risk of heart problems.

This study included more than 24,000 osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis patients worldwide. Their average age was 64. They took one of three drugs daily for pain relief: Celebrex, Naprosyn (naproxen) or Motrin (ibuprofen). The patients all had pre-existing heart disease or an increased risk for developing heart disease.

Through 10 years of follow-up, heart attack, stroke or death occurred in 2.3 percent of patients taking Celebrex, 2.5 percent of patients taking Naprosyn, and 2.7 percent of patients taking Motrin, the study showed.

The research found that ulcers or gastrointestinal bleeding was 54 percent higher in the Motrin group and 41 percent higher in the Naprosyn group than in the Celebrex group.

Patients taking Motrin had a 64 percent higher risk of worsening kidney function than those taking Celebrex. Death from any cause was about 25 percent higher in the Naprosyn group than in the Celebrex group, but this difference was very slight, according to the researchers.

The study was funded by Celebrex maker Pfizer Inc. Four of the study co-authors work at the drug company. Pfizer took part in the study design, development of protocol and assisted with data collection and maintained the trial database.

The study was scheduled to be presented Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association, and simultaneously published Nov. 13 New England Journal of Medicine.

Nissen cautioned against over-interpreting the study's findings.

The study examined "full prescription doses of these drugs, not the lower doses available in over-the-counter preparations. The safety findings may or may not apply to the typical intermittent use of lower doses of these drugs by many patients," Nissen explained.

Other physicians also expressed concern.

Dr. Elliott Antman, a past president of the American Heart Association, questioned whether the clinical trial actually proved that Celebrex is safe in people with heart disease.

Antman noted that the participants in the study were being treated for arthritis, and weren't at high risk for heart disease.

"These were patients at low or maybe slightly moderate risk," Antman said. "Originally, this was a trial that was supposed to compare the outcomes in high-cardiovascular-risk patients. But I still have that question, because we don't have those high-cardiovascular-risk patients represented here."

The American Heart Association also published an editorial in its journal Circulation that questioned whether the new clinical trial actually proved the safety of Celebrex for heart patients.

The clinical trial is "not a study of arthritis patients at high cardiovascular risk," wrote the editorial's author, Dr. Garrett FitzGerald, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine.

"It mostly included osteoarthritis patients at low cardiovascular risk -- cardiac event rates were roughly 1 percent per year." he wrote.

The trial "fails to inform clinical practice," FitzGerald concluded.

"Despite the enrollment of more than 24,000 patients and more than a decade of study, we are no closer to being able to advise the millions of patients with chronic arthritic pain regarding relative efficacy and safety of the treatments available to them," he said.

Doctors should continue to avoid use of any NSAIDs in heart patients, Antman cautioned.

"If one must treat a patient with an NSAID, attempt to identify the lowest-risk patient, use the lowest-risk drug in the lowest dose needed for the shortest period of time," Antman said.

NSAIDs were first introduced in the 1960s and are now among the world's most widely prescribed drugs, with 100 million prescriptions written in the United States in 2013, the study authors said.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and affects more than 16 million Americans. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease of joints, and affects more than 1.3 million Americans. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis have an increased risk for heart disease, the researchers said.

In the study, 90 percent of patients had osteoarthritis and 10 percent had rheumatoid arthritis.

-- Robert Preidt

Article Credits / Source

HealthDay

HealthDay provides up to the minute breaking health news. Click here to view this full article from HealthDay.

SOURCES: Cleveland Clinic, news release, Nov. 13, 2016; Circulation, Nov. 13, 2016; Elliott Antman, M.D., immediate past president, American Heart Association

View More Articles From HealthDay 🌎View Article Website

Sponsored Product

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

People who have trouble sleeping typically have low levels of melatonin, so melatonin supplements seem like a logical fix for insomnia. There is a high demand for sleep aids, especially in the U.S. The National Health Interview Survey done in 2002, and again in 2007, found 1.6 million US adults were using complementary and alternative sleep aids for insomnia. Lunar Sleep was a top choice. Use Promo Code: Sleep2014 and only pay $1.95 S&H.

Get Lunar Sleep for $1.95

More Heart Articles

Drug Combo for Irregular Heartbeat Might Raise Bleeding Risk

Drug Combo for Irregular Heartbeat Might Raise Bleeding Risk0

MONDAY, Nov. 21, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Because the irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation can trigger stroke-inducing clots, many patients are prescribed a blood thinner. But a new Canadian study suggests that combining one blood ...

Heart Attacks Up in New Orleans Post-Katrina

Heart Attacks Up in New Orleans Post-Katrina0

FRIDAY, Nov. 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A major New Orleans hospital has seen a sharp spike in the rate of heart attacks in the 10 years since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city, a new study reports. Heart attack admissions to Tulane ...

Amputations Due to Poor Blood Flow More Likely in Certain Groups

Amputations Due to Poor Blood Flow More Likely in Certain Groups0

FRIDAY, Nov. 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Poor and black patients with narrowing of the blood vessels have a higher risk of amputation than other patients, a new study finds. Peripheral artery disease (PAD), as this blood-vessel narrowing is ...

Lifestyle, Stress May Play Role in Heart Rhythm Disorder

Lifestyle, Stress May Play Role in Heart Rhythm Disorder0

SATURDAY, Nov. 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Stress and poor heart-health habits significantly increase the risk of a common heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation, two preliminary studies suggest. The irregular or quivering heartbeat ...

Pessimism May Take Unwelcome Toll on the Heart

Pessimism May Take Unwelcome Toll on the Heart0

THURSDAY, Nov. 17, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Always seeing the cup as half empty, rather than half full, may increase the likelihood of dying from heart disease, Finnish researchers say. An 11-year study of nearly 3,000 men and women found that ...

View More Heart Articles

0 Comments

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest health news as it breaks!

Your information will not be shared with anyone!