VIOXX- CORE MEDICAL USE AND DRUG FACTS
- The Generic Name is : rofecoxib
- The Brand Name is: Vioxx
Since Vioxx was known to cause cardiovascular disorders, it was voluntarily called off from the US markets in the year 2004.
Vioxx belonged to the NSAIDs class of drugs which implies that it was a nonsteroidal anti- inflammatory drug. It interfered with the production of substances causing inflammation, pain and fever.
Vioxx had to be taken only as directed, that too after outweighing the potential benefits with the risks involved. There were not any restrictions related to food and beverages when the drug was taken, unless otherwise stated by the practitioner. However, it was always advised to take the medicine with a glass full of water. Also, it was recommended that the suspension form of medicine should be shaken well before use and always metered using the dose measuring device or cup and not the regular spoon.
In case of missed dose, the alternative was to take the dose as soon as you remembered, and in case of overdoing of the drug, the after effects were not known. However if overdose happened, seeking emergency medical help always had to be the first option.
Vioxx was commonly used to treat
- Pain, inflammation and stiffness caused due to various forms of arthritis,
- Acute pain in adults
- Migraines and
- Pains during menstrual cycles
Other than the ailments listed above, the drug was also used for many other purposes.
Population that should not have used the drug without consulting a doctor comprised of the following:
- Asthma patients or
- Patients suffering from side effects (such as hives or rashes) of aspirin or any other NSAIDs or
- Patients with a history of ulcer or bleeding in stomach or
- Patients with liver or kidney or coagulation disorder or
- Patients who have suffered from any heart disease, high blood pressure, fluid retention problem or
- Patients who were taking anticoagulant or any steroid medicine.
Even if people belonging to the above category took the drug, constant monitoring of the dosage and its side effects were almost inevitable.
FDA had classified this drug in Category C, which meant that this drug was not suitable for pregnant women, nursing mother and also for women planning pregnancy. Since Vioxx could interfere with the formation of baby’s heart it was never to be taken during the third trimester. Also, though the side effects caused to the unborn baby or nursing baby are not pretty clear, still the drug was not advised during pregnancy, while planning pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
Also, people above the age of 65 years had to use Vioxx cautiously, and had to be monitored stringently while undergoing the course of the drug.
In case after taking the medicine, a person experiences any of the following, a doctor should be consulted at the earliest:
- Any form of allergy
- Pain, tenderness of discomfort in abdomen
- Stools which are either bloody, black or tarry
- Weight gain without any reason
- Fatigue which is experienced after taking the medicine
Though this is not an exhaustive list, and “cardiovascular disorder’ was the dreaded side effect of the drug, so any kind of discomfort caused after taking the medicine, should have been discussed with the doctor at once.
Vioxx always had to be stored at room temperatures away from moisture and heat.