Vioxx (rofecoxib), Non-Selective Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Audience: Healthcare professionals and consumers
After concluding that the overall risk versus benefit profile is unfavorable, FDA has requested Pfizer, Inc. to voluntarily withdraw Bextra (valdecoxib) from the market. This request is based on:
- The lack of adequate data on the cardiovascular safety of long-term use of Bextra, along with the increased risk of adverse cardiovascular (CV) events in short-term coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) trials that FDA believes may be relevant to chronic use.
- Reports of serious and potentially life-threatening skin reactions, including deaths, in patients using Bextra. The risk of these reactions in individual patients is unpredictable, occurring in patients with and without a prior history of sulfa allergy, and after both short- and long-term use.
- Lack of any demonstrated advantages for Bextra compared with other NSAIDs.
Patients currently taking Bextra should contact their physicians to consider alternative treatments. FDA is also asking manufacturers of all marketed prescription NSAIDs, including Celebrex (celecoxib), a COX-2 selective NSAID, to revise the labeling (package insert) for their products to include a boxed warning and a Medication Guide. The boxed warning will highlight the potential for increased risk of CV events with these drugs and the well-described, serious, and potentially life-threatening gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding associated with their use. The Medication Guide will accompany every prescription NSAID at the time it is dispensed to better inform patients about the CV and GI risks. Finally, FDA is asking manufacturers of non-prescription (OTC) NSAIDs to revise their labeling to include more specific information about the potential GI and CV risks, and information to assist consumers in the safe use of the drug. This announcement does not apply to aspirin as it has clearly been shown to reduce the risk of serious adverse CV events in certain patient populations.