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Opinion - Coxibs: can this class of drugs survive?

Authors Reza Tabrizchi

Published 15 April 2005 Volume 2005:1(1) Pages 5—8

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Reza Tabrizchi

Division of Basic Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial
University of Newfoundland, St John’s, NL, Canada

The sudden voluntary withdrawal of rofecoxib (Vioxx), a “selective” cyclooxygenase 2 (Cox-2) inhibitor, by Merck & Co on September 30, 2004, as a result of its adverse cardiovascular effects (Couzin 2004), begs the question as to whether this toxicity is a class effect. There is little doubt that toxicity associated with a drug can permeate and have a devastating effect on the clinical use of the entire class to which the drug belongs, unless the nature of that toxicity is clearly defined and characterized in a transparent fashion within the scientific community. In this particular case, the jury is still out. However, unless this class of drugs is used appropriately and wisely, it will not survive.

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