Officials Give Warning To Celebrex Users - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

12/17/04 - East Texas

Officials Give Warning To Celebrex Users

The announcement about Celebrex's potential dangers came after a study researching the drug for cancer-fighting properties.

One group of patients being tested showed an increased risk for heart attack, but doctors we spoke with say that risk should not stop people from taking the medicine.

Dr. Andrew Fercowicz, MD said, "Celebrex doesn't have direct effect that in sense that you take it, you get a heart attack. No, it doesn't work this way. They found in big studies involving millions of people that you have increased risk by statistics."

Those numbers are alarming. Patients showed double the risk of heart attack. It's enough to convince many Celebrex users to stop taking the drug.

Barbara Buchanan said, "I was taking Celebrex a couple times a day and it seemed like it helped."

Barbara stopped using Celebrex when she heard about Vioxx being taken off the market. She says the drugs were so alike, she was afraid Celebrex would be next. Friday's announcement confirmed her fears.

Barbara said, "I'm really glad I quit taking it then."

Before you stop taking Celebrex, it's probably best to get an expert opinion. Your doctor can explain the risks involved.

Dr. Fercowicz said, "statistically speaking you have a chance at winning say the Texas State Lottery doesn't mean that you win it. And the same with the medication, statistically speaking you have more risk of say heart problems or stroke doesn't mean that you'll get it."

Taking most any type of medication involves some sort of potential danger. Medicine cabinets are full of bottles with warnings on them. Warnings that allow you to make informed decisions, about taking drugs like Celebrex.

The study that prompted the warning was testing at a higher dosage than most people take, between 400 and 800 milligrams a day. About 20 million people have prescriptions for Celebrex.

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