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Celebrex Overview and Celebrex Lawsuits

Celebrex (Celecoxib) is an anti-inflammatory drug that treats rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug in 1998. It also issued several restrictions on the drug as early as 1999.

Celebrex helps people who can't rely on over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or acetaminophen. At the lowest doses, Celebrex was found to be similar to moderate doses of naproxen and ibuprofen with regard to cardiovascular safety.

Patients take it for acute pain. It's also the kind of drug that takes time to start working. Unfortunately, by the time you begin to realize the benefits of Celebrex, you may also experience adverse effects.

The following is an overview of Celebrex and the drug manufacturer Pfizer's liability for patient injuries. See Celebrex FAQ for more information.

Celebrex Drug Facts

Celebrex is the brand name of the generic drug celecoxib. The FDA first approved the drug for treating rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. One year later, they approved it to treat patients with a rare genetic disorder called familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP).

Celebrex is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It's part of a class of medications called Cox-2 inhibitors.

Although experts consider steroids safe for short-term use to reduce inflammation, when taken for more extended periods, they can cause serious side effects. Consequently, NSAIDs are preferred for the reduction of inflammation if you can avoid steroids.

How Does Celebrex Work?

Celebrex prevents the formation of certain prostaglandins called Cox-2, which cause pain and inflammation. Prostaglandins also prevent blood cells from sticking together. Unlike other NSAIDs, Celebrex does not block a second enzyme called Cox-1, which protects the stomach lining. This is why the drug commonly causes nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.

People tout Celebrex as reducing pain and inflammation without causing ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding. Pfizer, the drug manufacturer, wanted their drug to stand out from other Cox-2 inhibitors like Vioxx and Bextra. Drug manufacturers took these drugs off the market in 2004-2005 for that reason.

Common and Serious Side Effects of Celebrex

Millions of Americans have enjoyed the benefits of Celebrex. However, many others have become sick after using the medication. Some side effects are so severe that patients sued Pfizer, the drug manufacturer.

According to the FDA, patients experienced severe side effects from taking Celebrex. Some of these included the following:

  • Chest congestion
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart problems
  • Heart attack

Some of the less severe but common side effects include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion
  • Diarrhea

Just because you experience these dangerous side effects doesn't mean you'll automatically receive damages from Pfizer. As with any other personal injury lawsuit, your attorney must prove that your injuries are due to the medication. They must also prove your damages.

Safety Concerns of Celebrex

Since the FDA approval of Celebrex, experts have raised health concerns regarding its use. In April 1999, for instance, the Wall Street Journal reported that the manufacturer of Celebrex (Pharmacia, later acquired by Pfizer) submitted adverse events reports (AER) to the FDA. These reports linked 10 deaths and 11 cases of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding to Celebrex. This caused a rapid decrease in sales.

However, further research by doctors who evaluated the AERs on Celebrex found no evidence suggesting the drug was solely responsible for the deaths. Of the 10 deaths, eight individuals had histories of heart, liver, or gastrointestinal problems.

These explanations resulted in restored faith in Celebrex's safety, and sales began to climb again. But at the same time, the FDA started receiving reports of bleeding events by patients taking Celebrex with Coumadin (generic name warfarin), a blood thinner used to reduce blood clots.

The FDA required the manufacturer to include a warning on its promotional materials.

Filing a Lawsuit for Celebrex Injuries

If you experienced side effects from Celebrex or related NSAIDs, you may be able to file a product liability claim or a medical malpractice claim.

To recover damages from the drug manufacturer, you must prove that you suffered an injury and that Celebrex caused your injuries. For a medical malpractice claim, you must show the doctor, pharmacy, or other responsible party failed to prescribe the drug properly.

Talk to a product liability lawyer sooner rather than later. There's a time limit to file your lawsuit. You must file your claim within the statute of limitations period or lose your right to sue.

You must also remember that many states cap how much you can receive in malpractice claims. Additionally, there have been numerous class-action lawsuits against Pfizer related to using Celebrex. Talk to a product liability lawyer if you have additional questions or believe you may have a claim.

The Defendant May Argue You Had a Pre-Existing Medical Condition

If you sue Pfizer or another responsible party, they will challenge your claim. For example, the defendant may argue that you had a pre-existing condition before taking Celebrex. You may have been diagnosed with hypertension or kidney disease before you ever took the medication, or you may have been taking something that caused an adverse drug interaction.

Standing up to the drug manufacturer or malpractice insurance carrier's legal team will be challenging. This is why you should consider talking to a product liability attorney before you proceed.

How Can a Product Liability Attorney Help?

If your healthcare provider prescribed you Celebrex and you got sick, you have options. The more serious your injuries, the stronger your claim and the better your chances. For example, if you suffer heart failure after taking Celebrex, you may be able to recover significant damages. If you only suffer a minor allergic reaction, you may not want to sue.

A personal injury lawyer can help determine whether your case is worth pursuing. You can call and schedule your free case evaluation when you learn you are sick. You'll want to bring certain information when you meet with your attorney.

Some of the documentation and records your attorney will need include the following:

  • Proof that you are suffering from heart disease, cardiovascular disease, or some other severe side effect of Celebrex
  • Evidence proving that your doctor prescribed the brand name Celebrex rather than the generic form
  • Medical records demonstrating that you are suffering from an injury as a result of taking the medication
  • Your healthcare professional's contact information so your attorney can confirm you have an increased risk of an adverse event

Once your lawyer has this information, they will research the risk factors of Celebrex. They'll also talk to experts who can interpret the results of clinical trials on Celebrex. They may also need to speak to your doctor to find out if there were any adverse drug interactions that you could have avoided had they not told you to take the medication.

All of these things will help determine the strength of your claim. It will also help your legal team identify what damages you can recover. Call and speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer near you.

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