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More Evidence of Heart Risks from Bextra

Researchers Say Combining Bextra and Aspirin Could Increase Risk of Blood Clots

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.

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