Monday, July 8, 2013


In the mid-2000's there were several government hearings concerning the safety of the COX-2 family of drugs (Vioxx, Bextra, and Celebrex).

A colleague of mine was working for the FDA at the time, and had to sit through hours of testimony on them. He sent me this remarkable e-mail after one:

"Today we had a military doc testify. He told us that the drugs are important in military use, because they can get injured soldiers back into battle sooner.

"He finished his speech by declaring 'Soldiers need COX-2!'

"And that just doesn't sound good when spoken."


Anonymous said...

I have fond memories of that time. It's when I referred myself to a pain specialist.

My doctor at the time was insisting that I take Celebrex, even though we both knew that it didn't affect my pain at all. Her position was that it was so safe that it was worth taking even with no therapeutic benefits whatsoever. Apparently she wasn't watching the same news shows I was. I kept going in there saying, "Well, I heard that ...," and that conversation never went well.

(And for the record, once I started with the actual pain specialist, my pain was well-enough controlled for years that I managed to learn to walk with a walker after years in a wheelchair, a fairly painful process to start with, made harder because I had unrecognized lymphedema, on trazodone, amitriptyline, and gabapentin. I only started needing opiods when the lymphatic fluid started draining out of the skin on both legs and the PCP I ended up with after Dr. Celebrex could no longer tell me that all women have menstruation-related fluid retention every day of the month that's bad enough that the skin often breaks open and I should quit saying, "This is really painful and I think there's something wrong" every time I had an appointment. If I ever get the lymphedema under control, I'm hopeful that I can go back to the no-opiods regimen. I've already managed to cut my opiod use back to 50% of what it was when things were really out of control. So no, my desire to not take Celebrex was not a desire to take opiods.)

Ms. Donna said...

I can just hear the Military man and Cox-2

Memories . . . One time during Dad's shore deployments he was in charge of a large admin office. The secretaries used IBM Selectrics then (hot stuff!) with removable type balls. The film they used to type Top Secret documents went into a burn bag (You could pull the film and reverse-read what had been typed) and all was well.

Then the type balls started disappearing. Like dozens at a time.

While not revelatory of TS info, they were expensive to replace. It became apparent that the cleaning crews were stealing them. They were worth some $$ so they disappeared.

Disciplinary action was taken, perps caught and my dad had to announce 10 minutes before the office quit work:

"Ladies, lock up your balls."

His eyes always twinkled at that memory.

Anonymous said...

I wish I would have bought boxes of the pulled from US version, when traveling abroad (over the counter purchase). Like many medications, what works well for one does not always work well for another.....but that one was a keeper (aside from the cardiac FDA concerns...)

Anonymous said...

"This is my rifle; this is my gun."
"This is for fighting; this is for fun."

Richard Lawson said...

Two scientists walk into a bar.

The first scientist says, "I'll have some H2O."

The second scientist says, "I'll have some H2O, too!"

The second scientist dies.

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