Vioxx is making a comeback

Monday, February 21st 2005, 10:30 am
By: News On 6

A popular painkiller, pulled from the market after deadly risks were discovered, may be making a comeback.

A FDA advisory panel voted Vioxx is safe for sale. Manufacturers voluntarily pulled the drug in September after studies showed it doubled the chances of heart attack and stroke. For many arthritis patients, it was the only drug that brought relief. If it's put back in use.

Tulsa Doctor Jeff Fox says he will prescribe it in some cases after making patients aware of the risks. "Those haven't gone away you just have to weigh the benefit of the medication to you whether you're going to take that risk and typically in the younger population it's a very low risk."

The FDA still makes the final decision. Panelists urged restrictions on Vioxx if it did return, like limiting sales to only the lowest dose, recommending that it not be the first choice and putting the strongest warning possible on the label.

The panel also voted to keep two similar drugs, Bextra and Celebrex, on the market.