Arcoxia is Merck & Co.'s replacement for Vioxx, which was taken of the market in September 2004 due to studies showing that it doubled the risk of heart attack and strokes. Like Vioxx, Arcoxia is a Cox-2 inhibitor, an anti-inflammatory that is easier than the stomach than regular NSAIDs. I did some poking around on the Internet and according to what I found, the FDA rejected Merck & Co.'s application to market the drug in the US in April 2007 due to doctors questioning the provided safety data and I haven't been able to find any indication that this decision has changed since. Arcoxia is on sale in a number of other countries, though.
Are you in the US? If you are and you have been prescribed the drug, you can assume that the FDA has approved it and my Internet search skills are lacking on this Monday morning. If you're in another country and have been prescribed the drug by your doctor, it will have met the requirements of your country's regulatory body for medication. I can't tell you whether it is safe to take Arcoxia - I would recommend that you speak to your doctor, do you own Internet research and spend some time thinking. All drugs carry a risk of some sort and when you choose to take a drug, you have to weigh the pros and cons. Is there an alternative drug with possibly less severe side effects that will get you the same result? Will the benefits the drug will give you outweigh the possible risks? For instance, when I considered starting Humira, I spent some time thinking about the increased cancer risk, but ultimately decided to take the medication, as the benefits of suppressing my RA and getting my life back outweighed the risks of possibly developing cancer. They call it informed consent and getting the information can be very scary, but it is essential that you go into any treatment with your eyes wide open and make the decision that you believe is best for you.
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