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Vioxx Risks Can Occur within Two Weeks, Says New Study

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A new Canadian study shows that one-quarter of patients who suffered a heart attack while taking Vioxx did so within two weeks of taking their first prescription, much earlier than suggested by previous studies. The study was undertaken by McGill University Health Center in Canada, and involved analyzing the medical records of 239 elderly patients who had heart attacks while on Vioxx.

“For first-time users you can have an event in as little as two weeks,” said Linda Levesque, a doctoral student at MUHC in Montreal and the lead author of the new study, during an interview with Bloomberg.com.

Plaintiffs attorneys have been arguing to jurors that Merck’s unpublished data show an increased risk of heart attacks even after short-term Vioxx use, but Merck has defended vigorously against this claim, relying on a previous study showing that the risk of a heart attack doubled after 18 months of Vioxx use.

Read the article by McGill University Health Center