Link between arthritis pain medication and heart attacks, strokes found

Written by: Nairita Das
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Washington, Sep 14 (ANI): A novel mechanism as to why the long-term, high-dosage use of the well-known arthritis pain medication, Vioxx, lead to heart attacks and strokes has been discovered by scientists.

The groundbreaking study, by a research team from the University of California, Davis and Peking University, China, may pave the way for a safer drug for millions of arthritis patients who suffer acute and chronic pain.

Using metabolomic profiling to analyze murine (rodent) plasma, the scientists discovered that Vioxx causes a dramatic increase in a regulatory lipid that could be a major contributor to the heart attacks and strokes associated with high levels of the drug and other selective COX-2 inhibitors, known as "coxibs."

"Our metabolomics study discovered that 20-hydroxyeicosatetrasanoic acid, also known as 20-HETE, contributes to the Vioxx-mediated cardiovascular events," said UC Davis bioanalytical chemist Jun-Yan Liu, the senior author of the paper and a five-year member of the Bruce Hammock laboratory.

The research will be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (ANI)

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