Vioxx Association with Heart Attacks and Strokes Uncovered

September 15, 2010

A team of researchers uncovered the link between arthritis pain medication Vioxx and heart attacks and strokes.

A team of researchers uncovered the link between arthritis pain medication Vioxx and heart attacks and strokes. The results of the study are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The team featured scientists from the University of California, Davis and Peking University, China. By using metabolomic profiling, they analyzed murine (rodent) plasma and discovered Vioxx causes a dramatic increase in regulatory lipids that may play a role in contributing to heart attack and strokes associated with COX-2 inhibitors.

“This is a major breakthrough that can lead to a better medication for people suffering from acute pain,” said entomologist-chemist Bruce Hammock, a professor of entomology with a joint appointment at the UC Davis Cancer Center, in a press release.

The study demonstrated that 20-hydroxyeicosatetrasanoic acid, or 20-HETE, contributes to the Vioxx-mediated cardiovascular events. Vioxx was withdrawn from the market in September 2004. The researchers hope their findings will help promote further research into developing safer coxibs.