Medicine Information

Warning: Taking Bextra May Harm Your Health

Another Vioxx-like occurrence may be on the rise, as warnings about Pfizer's arthritis pain drug, Bextra, continue to mount.

According to a study of more than 1,500 patients who had previously undergone cardiac surgery, those who were treated for pain with Bextra were more likely to have heart and blood clotting problems than those who received no drug at all.

Associated problems included:

* Stroke

* Heart attack

* Blood clots in the lung

* Deep vein blood clots in the leg

Regardless of the fact that taking Bextra presents such serious health risks, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still believes the benefits of the drug outweigh the risks when used by the right patients. In light of these health concerns, however, the FDA approved a new label for the drug, which warns that those who recently had heart surgery (or who are allergic to sulfa products) should not take the drug. The revised label also strengthens the warning of the likelihood of severe skin reactions -- two of which may result in death.

Bextra is a cox-2 inhibitor, which is a class of painkillers that are popularly used due to their efficiency in treating arthritis pain and other ailments. Vioxx is also a cox-2 inhibitor and was pulled from the market due to the cardiovascular risks linked to taking the drug.

Considering the health risks involved with cox-2 inhibitors, the FDA will be holding a public advisory meeting to discuss the safety concerns of these and other related drugs.

USA Today December 9, 2004

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

I have previously posted an article warning that Bextra's risks are even higher than Vioxx's. And, as this article stated, the FDA is now modifying Bextra's label to state that taking the drug after having cardiac surgery could increase one's likelihood of heart and blood clotting problems.

Folks, I saw this one coming years ago: In 2001 I warned my readers of the adverse effects from taking Bextra. This drug is just another cox-2 inhibitor disaster waiting to happen. Pain-killing drugs -- meant to relieve symptoms but never the true condition -- are rarely necessary.

Why take the risk of serious side effects from anti-inflammatories when you can create your OWN anti-inflammatory, merely by changing the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in your diet?

These two types of fatty acids are BOTH essential for human health. However, the typical American consumes far too many omega-6 fats and not enough omega-3 fats to be healthy.

While the ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats should be 1:1, most people's intake ratio averages from 20:1 to 50:1! This unbalanced intake could lead to several health problems, whereas proper consumption of omega-3 can help prevent disease or improve many chronic conditions such as:

* Breast cancer

* Diabetes

* Heart disease

* Ulcerative colitis

* Arthritis

* Childhood asthma

* Depression

* Hyperactivity

The easiest way to balance your ratio is to consume more omega-3 fats from good sources and to reduce your intake of omega-6 fats. The primary sources of omega-6 are corn, soy, and canola, safflower and sunflower oils; these foods are overabundant in the typical American diet, which explains our excess omega-6 levels. You want to avoid or limit these oils in order to be optimally healthy.

On the other hand, the best omega-3 fats are those found in fish. That's because the omega-3 in fish is high in two fatty acids crucial to human health: DHA and EPA. Unfortunately, eating most fresh fish -- whether from the ocean, lakes and streams or farm-raised -- is no longer recommended.

This is because (if you are an avid reader of the newsletter then you already know) mercury levels in almost all fish around the world have now hit dangerously high levels, and the risks of mercury now heavily outweigh the benefits gained from fish-derived omega-3 fats.

Fortunately there are clean sources of fish oil you can access without having to worry about mercury levels and added toxins, Vital Choice Alaskan Wild Red Salmon comes from the relatively pristine waters of Alaska that have virtually no mercury pollution

Not only is this salmon mercury-free, but it is also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, is high in antioxidants to help you live longer and tastes absolutely delicious!

You can also achieve omega-3 benefits by taking fish oil and cod liver oil, as this is a clean, safe and pure alternative to fresh fish. I have researched brands and types of fish oil and cod liver oil extensively and can say with absolute confidence that I recommend Carlson's brand fish oil and cod liver oil. Carlson's fish oils are rigorously tested for potency and purity and is a healthy addition to most any diet.

Dr. Joseph Mercola
Author of Total Health Program
Founder of the renowned Optimal Wellness Center - The #1 Natural Health Site on the Internet!

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