New anti-inflammatory drugs (COX-2 inhibitors) and heart disease

It has not been long since the new COX-2 inhibitors (these include Vioxx and Celebrex) were promoted as miracle drugs that would cure the symptoms of arthritis with no side effects. Older anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) had been associated with bleeding in the stomach and ulcers.
A review article recently published in JAMA (2001;286(8):954-9) analyzed the results from four major studies that included approximately 16,000 patients. In one study patients on the COX-2 inhibitor had more than double the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular events than those on NSAIDs.

Another study did not confirm this finding, but in this case patients were taking a COX-2 inhibitor and aspirin at the same time. The authors assume that the aspirin may have had a cardio-protective effect for those patients while at the same increasing the risk of ulcers, the major benefit of COX-2 inhibitors.

When is this madness going to stop? There are many natural treatments for arthritis that are completely free of negative side effects. These include avoidance of allergic foods, glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin, MSM, the vitamin niacinamide, fish oil and various herbs, including Turmeric, Yucca and Boswellia.

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