Link Discovered Between Arthritis Pain Reliever And Cardiovascular Events

Medical News Today

A research team from the University of California, Davis and Peking University, China, has discovered a novel mechanism as to why the long-term, high-dosage use of the well-known arthritis pain medication, Vioxx, led to heart attacks and strokes. Their groundbreaking research may pave the way for a safer drug for millions of arthritis patients who suffer acute and chronic pain.

Using metabolomic profiling to analyze murine (rodent) plasma, the scientists discovered that Vioxx causes a dramatic increase in a regulatory lipid that could be a major contributor to the heart attacks and strokes associated with high levels of the drug and other selective COX-2 inhibitors, known as "coxibs."

"This is a major breakthrough that can lead to a better medication for people suffering from acute pain," said entomologist-chemist Bruce Hammock, a distinguished professor of entomology with a joint appointment at the UC Davis Cancer Center. The research took place in the laboratories of Hammock, cell biologist Nipavan Chiamvimonvat, UC Davis Division of Cardiovascular Medicine; and physiologist Yi Zhu, Peking University.

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