Find out if you have a Vioxx® side effects legal claim
Vioxx® (Rofecoxib) was to be the next miracle drug for pain relief when it was introduced in 1999. Doctors prescribed Vioxx® to over 2 million people when New Jersey based pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. withdrew it from the worldwide market on September 30, 2004. A three-year trial of Vioxx® funded by Merck & Co. cited the use of Vioxx® could lead to a 50 percent greater chance of heart attacks, strokes, blood clots and even death. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates Vioxx® may have caused up to 140,000 cases of serious heart disease since 1999 and, had Celebrex® been used instead, an estimated 27,785 heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths would have been avoided. Are you one of those cases?
What is Vioxx®?
Vioxx® is a COX-2 selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) prescribed by a physician to relieve signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis, acute pain in adults and pain as a result of menstrual cycles.
Why was Vioxx® pulled from the market?
Merck’s decision to pull Vioxx® from the marketplace is based on data from the APPROVe [Adenomatous Polyp Prevention on Vioxx®] trial. In the trial, Vioxx® was compared to placebo (sugar-pill) to determine if 25 mg of Vioxx® was effective in preventing the recurrence of colon polyps (cancerous tissue in the large intestine). This trial was stopped early because of an increased risk for serious cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes. These events were first observed after 18 months of continuous treatment with Vioxx® compared with placebo.
Vioxx® was linked to heart problems even before the “APPROVe” trial. In the results of the Vioxx® Gastrointestinal Outcomes Research (VIGOR) study published in November 2000, patients taking Vioxx® over Naxopren®, a similar anti-inflammatory drug used to treat arthritis, had 5 times the increased chance of heart attacks, strokes, blood clots and death. None of the patients had any prior history of heart disease. Sadly, the FDA did not require Merck & Co. to include a warning on the Vioxx® label until a year and a half label. At the same time, they also sponsored a large-scale study on Kaiser Permanente patients taking Vioxx® that yielded similar results.
Dr. David Graham, lead researcher of the FDA’s office of drug safety, told a U.S. Senate committee investigating Vioxx® that he believes the drug is responsible for the deaths of 100,000 Americans. Dr. Graham and his team analyzed information from 1.4 million Californians who had used Vioxx®, Pfizer Inc.’s Celebrex® or similar drugs from 1999 to September 2004. His team found 8,143 people suffered coronary heart disease in the study including 1,508 of who had sudden cardiac deaths. It was determined that patients taking Vioxx® were about a third more likely to develop coronary heart disease. Some of Dr. Graham’s direct findings are as follows:
“The U.S. national estimate of the case-fatality rate… was 44 percent, which suggests that many of the excess cases attributable to rofecoxib use were fatal.”
“An estimated 88,000-140,000 excess cases of serious coronary heart disease probably occurred in the U.S.A. over the market life of rofecoxib.”
In a separate study, more than 8,000 patients using both Vioxx® and the older, more traditional NSAID naproxen were shown to have two times higher the chance of developing heart disease, strokes, blood clots or death using Vioxx®.
What are the possible side effect risks of taking Vioxx®?
The following serious side effects are listed verbatim on Merck’s Vioxx® label. If you have experienced any of them, please see your doctor immediately and contact Goldberg and Osborne, for your free case evaluation.
Heart attacks, Strokes and/or other serious events, such as blood clots in your body, have been reported in patients taking Vioxx®.
Serious kidney problems can occur, including acute (sudden) kidney failure and worsening of chronic kidney failure.
Severe liver problems, including hepatitis, jaundice and liver failure, can occur in patients taking NSAIDs, including Vioxx®. Tell your doctor if you develop symptoms of liver problems. These include nausea, tiredness, itching, pain in the right upper abdomen, yellow skin or eyes, and flu-like symptoms.
Serious allergic reactions including swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and/or throat which may cause difficulty breathing or swallowing, hives, wheezing, or shock (loss of blood pressure and consciousness) can occur. These may require treatment right away. Severe skin reactions have also been reported.
Serious stomach problems, such as stomach and intestinal bleeding, can occur with or without warning symptoms. These problems, if severe, could lead to hospitalization or death. Although this happens rarely, you should watch for signs (for instance, stomach burning, vomiting blood, or if there is blood in your bowel movement or it is black and sticky like tar) that you may have this serious side effect and tell your doctor right away.
Do you believe you’ve been injured by Vioxx®? Goldberg & Osborne can help.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured as the result of taking Vioxx®, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries by Merck & Co. Some states have time limits in which cases must be filed or they will be invalid forever, so it is crucial you contact an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately. There are over 9200 cases filed against Merck & Co. over Vioxx® so you are not alone.
The personal injury law firm of Goldberg & Osborne is dedicated to helping injured people nationwide and is currently accepting cases for Vioxx® victims. For a FREE case evaluation, please call us toll-free at 1-800-THE-EAGLE (1-800-843-3245) or SUBMIT A SHORT AND SIMPLE CASE FORM HERE.