Vioxx History and Information

Vioxx is a drug created by Merck. It is in essence a pain killer. It was meant to be used for people with arthritis pain, heavy menstrual cramps, and the like. It is technically a NSAID - i.e. an anti-inflammatory drug that does not involve steroids.

The FDA approved Vioxx for use in May 1999. This approval came after a study involving 5,000 patients showed no problem.

Then, a study done in 2000 began to show that people who took Vioxx tended to have far more heart problems than those who did not. This was a more long term study. This study was actually testing to see how Vioxx affected people with stomach problems. Often people with stomach problems have difficulties with pain medications. Vioxx worked very nicely with the stomach problems - the patients had fewer issues with Vioxx than with similar drugs. Unfortunately, after people had been on Vioxx for 18 months, a new issue appeared. These people now began having a much higher risk of heart attacks. This was an unforseen result in the study, and it was stopped.

The FDA began to do more research into the problem.

In September 2004, Merck pulled the drug off the shelves. It did not do so as a result of any order from the FDA.

NOTE: I am not a doctor or lawyer. Always talk to a professonal about your personal situation.

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