Pfizer reported Friday that a study has found an increased risk of heart problems in patients taking its pain medication Celebrex.
The increased heart risk was found in one of two long-term cancer studies. A second study showed no increased heart risk.
The National Cancer Institute, which conducted the study for Pfizer, halted the use of Celebrex after finding patients taking 400mg to 800mg of the drug daily had a risk of encountering heart problems 2.5 times greater than those not taking the drug.
Celebrex is in the same COX-2 class of pain drugs as Merck's Vioxx, which was pulled from the market in September. A separate study found that patients taking Vioxx were at risk of encountering heart problems at a rate of three times greater than those not taking the drug.
Earlier this month, the FDA said it would be adding a warning label to another Pfizer COX-2 drug, Bextra, after finding an increased heart risk in patients taking the drug who had recent heart bypass surgery.