FDA pans Merck's new pain pill

April 13, 2007

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has rejected Merck's bid to sell the pain medication Arcoxia in the United States.

The New York Times says Arcoxia is a sister to Vioxx, which Merck pulled from the market in 2004 after a study showed it increased the risks of heart attacks and strokes.

Arcoxia, currently sold in 63 countries, caused nearly three times as many heart attacks, strokes and deaths as naproxen, which is sold as Aleve, and is about just as effective at reducing pain in arthritis patients. Patients taking Arcoxia also suffered increased blood pressure, the newspaper said.

"What you're talking about is a potential public health disaster," Dr. David Graham, an FDA safety officer, told the panel.

The company said it was "disappointed" in the FDA's rejection.

"We continue to believe that Arcoxia has the potential to become a valuable treatment option for many Americans suffering from osteoarthritis," Merck Research Laboratories President Peter Kim said in a release.

Merck will continue to sell the drug outside the United States, the newspaper said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Not taking gastroprotective drugs prescribed with anti-inflammatory medicines

Related Stories

Not taking gastroprotective drugs prescribed with anti-inflammatory medicines

April 16, 2012
To relieve pain, arthritis sufferers are prescribed medications that may include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors, both of which can irritate the digestive tract. At times ...

Recommended for you

Mind-body therapies immediately reduce unmanageable pain in hospital patients

July 25, 2017
Mindfulness training and hypnotic suggestion significantly reduced acute pain experienced by hospital patients, according to a new study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Study suggests ending opioid epidemic will take years

July 20, 2017
The question of how to stem the nation's opioid epidemic now has a major detailed response. A new study chaired by University of Virginia School of Law Professor Richard Bonnie provides extensive recommendations for curbing ...

Team-based model reduces prescription opioid use among patients with chronic pain by 40 percent

July 17, 2017
A new, team-based, primary care model is decreasing prescription opioid use among patients with chronic pain by 40 percent, according to a new study out of Boston Medical Center's Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine, which ...

Private clinics' peddling of unproven stem cell treatments is unsafe and unethical

July 7, 2017
Stem cell science is an area of medical research that continues to offer great promise. But as this week's paper in Science Translational Medicine highlights, a growing number of clinics around the globe, including in Australia, ...

Popular heartburn drugs linked to higher death risk

July 4, 2017
Popular heartburn drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have been linked to a variety of health problems, including serious kidney damage, bone fractures and dementia. Now, a new study from Washington University School ...

Most reproductive-age women using opioids also use another substance

June 30, 2017
The majority of reproductive-age and pregnant women who use opioids for non-medical purposes also use at least one other substance, ranging from nicotine or alcohol to cocaine, according to a University of Pittsburgh Graduate ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.