More Evidence of Heart Risks from Bextra
Researchers Say Combining Bextra and Aspirin Could Increase Risk of Blood Clots
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More Heart Problems for Bextra
In a related editorial, researchers presented the combined results of two
clinical studies of the drug Bextra and Dynastat.
Dynastat is an intravenous drug that is converted to the active ingredient
in Bextra within minutes by the body. In the first study, about 400 people
undergoing heart bypass surgery received 40 mg of Dynastat followed by 40 mg of
Bextra for 14 days. In the second, larger study, the Bextra dose was reduced to
20 mg for 10 days.
Despite the reduction of dose and duration of therapy, the results showed
that a cluster of heart problems was again apparent.
In combining the results of the two studies, researchers found people who
used these drugs were three times more likely to have heart problems than those
who received a placebo.
Researchers caution that these results should not be taken out of context,
and both of these studies involved people at high risk of heart problems
because they were undergoing heart bypass surgery.
However, they say the findings represent a class effect of the Cox-2
inhibitors and suggest that doctors should be alerted to the potential for
heart problems associated with the use of Cox-2 inhibitors, especially among
those at moderate to high risk for heart disease.
"The circumstances under which Cox-2 inhibitors can safely be
administered for extended periods to patients at low risk of cardiovascular
disease remain to be defined," write Curt Furberg, MD, PhD, of Wake Forest
University School of Medicine, and colleagues.