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Vioxx General information and FAQ Page

The information below provides only a summary of information about Vioxx. It is not meant to take the place of your doctor's instruction. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any additional questions.

Vioxx is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that exhibits anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic activities. Vioxx is for the relief of the pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis (OA) and adult rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as well as treatment of dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain).

NSAIDS are a group of medications commonly used to treat arthritis secondary to their analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and fever reduction properties. The mechanism of action of NSAIDS is the inhibition of the enzyme cyclooxygenase.

Recent advances in research have shown that there are actually two types of the cyclooxygenase enxymes. COX-1, this is responsible for protecting the stomach and COX-2 responsible for inflammation. Unfortunately, traditional NSAIDS target both of these enzymes. Subsequently, these medications are associated with a high incidence of gastro-intestinal side effects including dyspepsia, bleeding, ulceration and perforation of the stomach, small and large intestine. Vioxx does not inhibit the cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) isoenzyme.

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Vioxx Price Chart

Vioxx 25mg tablets

What is Vioxx?

Vioxx is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine (NSAID) recommended for:

  • Relief of osteoarthritis (the arthritis caused by age-related "wear and tear" on bones and joints)
  • Relief of rheumatoid arthritis in adults
  • Management of acute pain in adults (like the short-term pain you can get after a dental or surgical operation)
  • Treatment of menstrual pain (pain during women's monthly periods).

How does Vioxx work?

The human body produces two enzymes called COX-1 and COX-2. COX-1 helps regulate normal cell function in the stomach and blood. COX-2 plays a role in causing arthritis pain and inflammation. Vioxx is one of the few products that targets only the COX-2 enzyme.

Who should not take Vioxx?

Vioxx is not recommended for people who have had allergic reactions such as asthma attacks, hives or swelling of the throat and face to aspirin or other NSAID's (for example, ibuprofen and naproxen).
Vioxx should not be taken by people who have had an allergic reaction to refecoxib, which is the active ingredient of Vioxx or any of the inactive ingredients of this medication.
Women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant or who are breast- feeding or plan to breast-feed should not take Vioxx.

Do not share Vioxx with anyone else; it was prescribed only for you. It should be taken only for the condition for which it was prescribed.

What should I tell my doctor before and during Treatment with Vioxx?

Medical information our Doctor should be aware of:

  • Personal or family history of angina, heart attack or a blocked artery in your heart.
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Heart failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Allergic reaction to aspirin or other NSAIDs
  • Serious gastrointestinal problems in the past.
  • Any other medical problems or allergies you have now or have had.
  • All medicines that you are taking or plan to take, even those you can get without a prescription.

Tell your doctor if you develop:

  • Serious stomach problems such as ulcer or bleeding symptoms (for instance, stomach burning or black stools, which are signs of possible stomach bleeding).
  • Unexplained weight gain or swelling of the feet and/or legs.
  • Skin rash or allergic reactions. If you have a severe allergic reaction, get medical help right away.

Can I take Vioxx with Other Medicines?

Your doctor may want to check that your medicines are working properly together if you are taking other medicines such as:

  • Warfarin (a blood thinner)
  • Theophylline (a medicine used to treat asthma)
  • Rifampin (an antibiotic)
  • ACE inhibitors (medicines used for high blood pressure and heart failure)
  • Lithium (a medicine used to treat depression).

Vioxx cannot take the place of aspirin for prevention of heart attack or stroke. If you are currently taking aspirin for this purpose, you should not discontinue taking aspirin without consulting your doctor.

What are the possible side effects of Vioxx?

Serious but rare side effects that have been reported in patients taking Vioxx and/or related medicines have included:

  • Rare but serious stomach problems, such as stomach and intestinal bleeding, can occur with or without warning symptoms. These problems, if severe, could lead to hospitalization or death.
  • Heart attacks and similar serious events have been reported in patients taking Vioxx.
  • Serious allergic reactions including swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and/or throat which may cause difficulty breathing or swallowing and wheezing occur rarely but may require treatment right away. Severe skin reactions have also been reported.
  • Serious kidney problems occur rarely, including acute kidney failure and worsening of chronic kidney failure.
  • Severe liver problems, including hepatitis, jaundice and liver failure, occur rarely in patients taking NSAIDs, including Vioxx. Tell your doctor if you develop symptoms of liver problems. These include nausea, tiredness, itching, tenderness in the right upper abdomen, and flu-like symptoms.

In addition, the following side effects have been reported: anxiety, blurred vision, confusion, decreased levels of sodium in the blood, depression, fluid in the lungs, hair loss, hallucinations, increased levels of potassium in the blood, insomnia, low blood cell counts, palpitations, pancreatitis, severe increase in blood pressure, tingling sensation, unusual headache with stiff neck (aseptic meningitis), vertigo.

More common, but less serious side effects reported with Vioxx have included the following:

Upper and/or lower respiratory infection and/or inflammation, headache, dizziness, diarrhea, nausea and/or vomiting, heartburn, stomach pain and upset, swelling of the legs and/or feet, high blood pressure, back pain, tiredness, urinary tract infection.

The side effects described above do not include all of the side effects reported with Vioxx. Any time you have a medical problem you think may be related to Vioxx, talk to your doctor.

How should I take Vioxx?

Vioxx should be taken once a day.
You may take Vioxx with or without food.

For Osteoarthritis patients: The recommended starting dose of Vioxx is 12.5mg once a day. Some patients will receive additional benefits by increasing the dose to 25mg once a day. The maximum daily dose is 25mg.

For Rheumatoid Arthritis patients:
The recommended dose is 25mg once daily. The maximum recommended dose is 25mg a day.

For the management of Acute Pain and Treatment of Primary Dysmenorrhea:
The recommended daily dose is 50mg. Use of Vioxx for more than 5 days in management of pain has not been studied. Chronic use of Vioxx 50mg daily is not recommended.

Do not take more than the recommended dose prescribed by your doctor. If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.

Where do I keep it?

Store at controlled temperature 77F (25C), excursions permitted to 59 - 86F (15 to 30C). Keep this and all medications out of children's reach.

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