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A recent study from the New Zeland Medical Research Institute and published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine has shown that people taking Celebrex double their risk for a heart attack when compared with users of similar drugs.

The study looked at six seperate studies involving 12,780 patients in an effort to determine if the increased risk of cardiovascular problems with Vioxx was also present with Celebrex.

It found a 1.88-fold increased risk of heart attack when Celebrex compared with the other arthritis treatments.

Previously, similar concerns has arisen over Merck’s blockbuster drug Vioxx, as it was withdrawn in September 2004 after a study showed it doubled patients risk of heart attack and strokes after 18 months of use. These particular findings may be critical, as futher reserach could establish that Celebrex’s risk to users may be similar to that of Vioxx.

Pfizer, the manufacturer of Celebrex, is on track to post sales of more than $2 billion in 2006, up from $1.7 billion in 2005.

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