Sunday, December 19, 2004

Celebrex Scare

Pfizer stocks are taking a beating, and folks are calling their doctors asking whether they should stop taking these pills. Pfizer has been running commercials telling us how this drug will make our lives more wonderful, although they aren't real clear about why one would need this medicine. With all this hype, some things haven't been made clear. All medications have some danger, Most have the potential to kill, even asprin isn't all that safe. Hopefully the risk outweighs the risk. I wonder why Pfizer finds it neccessary to spend $72 million on advertising. I can understand mailings to Medical doctors and such, but Television advertising for perscription drugs seems like its inviting patients for abuse. The customer ultimatly pays for this marketing and we, the customer, end up wondering why its cheaper to buy these same drugs in Mexico or Canada.
Apparently Celebrex is dangerous only when taken in high doses.

The first point that jumps out is that the typical dose of Celebrex is less than 400mg per day - and there is no data suggesting an increased risk of heart problems in these lower doses. Here is the recommended dosing schedule:
Osteoarthritis: Oral: 200 mg/day as a single dose or in divided dose twice daily

Rheumatoid arthritis: Oral: 100-200 mg twice daily

Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP): Oral: 400 mg twice daily

Acute pain or primary dysmenorrhea: Oral: Initial dose: 400 mg, followed by an additional 200 mg if needed on day 1; maintenance dose: 200 mg twice daily as needed
Thus, only in uncommon cases (i.e. FAP) should more than 400mg per day be used. Again, the studies did not show an increased risk of heart problems in the common, usual doses.
I don't take these drugs, but I still find this disturbing, not because there are risks to the drugs, but because some medication that might benefit me someday won't be available., because of liabilty concerns. Its a scary world we live in.


On 12/21/2004 08:37:00 PM, Blogger Libertarian of Pennsylvania said...

This is why the FDA needs to be eliminated. The FDA has been bought by Corporate America. They have failed in protecting America. They knew these drugs were dangerous. They still were approved. Instead testing should be done by private industry with high Federal standards.
Let people buy their drugs from Canada, Mexico, Britain, or wherever they choose. Prices of drugs will drop if we allow more competition.

On 12/24/2004 11:19:00 AM, Blogger Liberty said...

I don't think its likely that the FDA will be eliminated within our lifetime, but it sure could use some fixing in the meantime. At any rate I don't see the Celebrex scare as much as a result of fauty testing, but a result of marketing hype. All drugs are dangerous, even asprin. Marketing and distributing of these drugs drive the prises up way to high. There seems to indications that way to many people have taking these medicines when other safer/cheaper drugs might be more appropriate. People are going to their doctors and asking for them, when drugs like Tylenal or asprin might be more effectice and safer.


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