The study found no evidence that the drug Celebrex, or generically, celecoxib, poses any greater risk for causing heart attacks and strokes than two other widely used pain relievers.
"What we found was surprising," says Steven Nissen, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic who reported the results Sunday at an American Heart Association meeting in New Orleans.
Doctors have been concerned about Celebrex for more than a decade because it is very similar to another pain reliever, Vioxx, which was pulled from the market in 2004 after being linked to heart attacks and strokes.
Celebrex "didn't share the risks that were seen with Vioxx," says Nissen, whose findings were also published online by the New England Journal of Medicine.
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