Yet, the pharmaceutical companies never looked at the possibility that these newer Cox-2 inhibitors could increase the risk of heart attack and strokes by blocking these enzymes even though there was a suggestion of this possibility in the scientific literature. As a result many doctors were not aware of this fact and did not discuss the potential risk with their patients.
Patients on the other hand were clamoring to try these medications after seeing advertisements all over the media. In summary, doctors need to do better by reading literature that is not sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry. The pharmaceutical industry needs to limit consumer driven advertisement seen frequently on television and in newspapers and magazines. Finally, I would recommend that consumers wait at least a year or longer if possible before beginning a medication that is new to the market. During that time, many more patients will have tried the drug than had been studied to get FDA approval. As a result, more information about the potential risk of the medication will become known.
Answer provided by Scott J. Zashin, M.D., clinical assistant professor at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Division of Rheumatology, in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Zashin is also an attending physician at Presbyterian Hospitals of Dallas and Plano. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Rheumatology and a member of the American Medical Association. Dr. Zashin is author of Arthritis Without Pain - The Miracle Of Anti-TNF Blockers. The book is a must-have for anyone on one of the biologic drugs (Enbrel, Remicade, Humira) or considering the biologic drugs. Read my review of the book.