Celebrex is the brand name of the drug Celecoxib which is manufactured by Pfizer. Celebrex was given approval by the Food and Drug Administration in December of 1998. It is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body. Celebrex is used to treat pain or inflammation brought on by arthritis, spinal joint inflammation and menstrual pain. It is also used in the treatment of hereditary polyps in the colon.
Recently researchers have discovered that Celebrex increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes and blood clots when taken regularly. Dr. Garret FitzGerald of the University of Pennsylvania indicated that Celebrex may start the process of hardening the arteries which will result in heart disease. In addition, the National Cancer Institute found that patients taking 400mg to 800mg of Celebrex daily had a 2.5 times greater risk of major heart problems than those who were taking placebos. Furthermore, a study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic that appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicated that the annual rates of heart attack in the Celebrex studies were increased compared to a review of studies containing a total of more than 48,000 patients.
On March 11, 2009, Dr. Scott S. Reuben, a former paid spokesperson for Pfizer, revealed that data for 21 studies he had authored for the efficacy of Celebrex had been fabricated and the analgesic effects of the drug exaggerated. Ironically though, the retracted studies were not submitted to the Food and Drug Administration. As a result of these findings, Pfizer and the Food and Drug Administration are being pressured by consumer groups to recall the drug.
It has been proven that Celebrex may cause life-threatening heart or circulation problems such as heart attack or stroke, especially if used on a long term basis. Pfizer has also identified serious, sometimes fatal effects on the stomach or intestines, including bleeding or perforation. Patients can experience a range of horrific symptoms from these other dangerous side effects.
- Black, bloody, or tarry stools
- Coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
- Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; trouble breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue)
- Change in the amount of urine produced
- Chest pain
- Dark urine
- Fever, chills, or persistent sore throat
- Hearing loss
- Numbness of extremities
- Red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin
- Ringing in the ears
- Severe or persistent stomach pain or nausea
- Severe vomiting
- Vision or speech changes
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes.
How Do We Stop Celebrex and Pfizer from Hurting More People?
Celebrex is dangerous but profitable, and therein lies the problem. Pfizer made $2.5 billion off Celebrex in 2011. They are already on track for 2012 with $634 million in profits from Celebrex in the first quarter of this year. The Food and Drug Administration and Pfizer are both ignoring the problem. After all, with that kind of money on the table Pfizer is not going to pull this lucrative drug from the market. Pfizer obviously cares more about profits than the thousands of people who are hurt by Celebrex every day. Therefore, it is left to the public to speak out and ensure that Pfizer takes responsibility for the harmful consequences of its cash cow Celebrex.