Celebrex May Help Some Heart Patients
Study Shows the Cox-2 Drug May Help Patients With Drug-Coated Stents
WebMD News Archive
Aug. 16, 2007 -- The anti-inflammatory drug Celebrex appears to improve
outcomes among heart patients treated with drug-coated stents, but experts say
the risk to patients may still outweigh the benefits.
In a newly reported study from
South Korea, patients who took Celebrex prior to and after receiving stents to
open clogged arteries were less likely to suffer another blockage in the
treated vessels within six months than patients who didn't take the
Reblockage due to scar tissue formation, known as restenosis, is a common
complication in heart patients treated with stents.
No Increase in Heart Risk
Researchers found no evidence of an increase in heart attacks or other
adverse heart events among Celebrex users, but the drug's safety in heart
patients remains an open question, a spokesperson for the American Heart
Association (AHA) tells WebMD.
Celebrex belongs to a class of painkillers known as Cox-2 inhibitors. The
Cox-2 drug Vioxx was withdrawn from the market in the fall of 2004 after
reports linked its long-term use to an increase in heart attack and stroke
risk. Another Cox-2 inhibitor, Bextra, was removed from the U.S. market in
Pfizer's Celebrex is the only Cox-2 inhibitor still sold in the U.S. Early
this year, AHA officials issued a statement calling for its use "only as a
last resort" in heart patients.
"Celebrex has not been entirely free of adverse events in previously
published trials, although its effects may not be as great as those seen with
some of the other more Cox-2 selective drugs in the class," says Wake
Forest University cardiology professor and AHA spokesman David Herrington,