Though Celebrex reduces the possibility of growth of colon polyps to half, it doubles the risk of serious heart troubles.
This was revealed by two significant studies published in the Aug. 31 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine. The opinions of Bruce M. Psaty, M.D., Ph.D., and John D. Potter, M.B., Ph.D., of the University of Washington were also published along with it.
"These two trials provide strong evidence that among patients with colonic adenomas, the use of celecoxib for up to three years reduces the risk of metachronous adenoma," Drs Bruce Psaty and John Potter.
"These placebo-controlled trials were too small to evaluate the role of celecoxib in preventing colorectal cancer. Nevertheless, in these same studies, significant cardiovascular risks were demonstrated. In patients with adenomas who undergo repeated colonoscopies, the increase in cardiovascular events caused by celecoxib outweighs what may be an optimistic projection of its potential benefit in decreasing colorectal-cancer events."
Heart risks associated with Celebrex is being given a lot of importance by doctors.
Celebrex belongs to the Cox-2 inhibitors, painkiller family. Vioxx and Bextra are the other members that are no longer available in the market due to their connection with heart disease.
Celebrex is not as dangerous as Vioxx. 200mgs a day is the common dosage of celebex.
Though this dosage has never been associated with heart diseases or attacks, it does carry some risk when given along with all prescription anti-inflammatory drugs.Thus, FDA has necessitated a warning on the drug's label.
Cox-2 inhibitors belong to the latest generation of the painkillers called NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) whereas aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen are some of the older NSAIDs. The latter can cause stomach problems like ulcers.
Cox-2 inhibitors are easier on the stomach than the older NSAIDs at low dosages.
Arthritis and other painful disorders are treated with Celebrex and other anti-inflammatory drugs. The patients with the help of their doctors should consider the advantages of these drugs against any likely risk. But for patients taking low doses of Celebrex for arthritis pain, it is more beneficial than harmful.
Celbrex has another function of preventing precancerous polyps in people with a rare condition called familial adenomatous polyposis. The risk of getting colon cancer is higher in this condition as there are more chances of polyps becoming cancerous.
Celebrex, at a very high dose, is approved for the treatment.
But the advantages of Celebrex is overshadowed by the risk of heart problems in these people, because they are at a very high risk of colon cancer.