50,000 People Die From Taking a Drug That Should Not Be Prescribed

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An article in JAMA (June 6, 2012, Vol. 307, No. 21, page 2247) states, “For years, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that target the…Cox-2 enzyme have been linked to increased cardiovascular risks. New research indicates that these elevated risks occur because COX-2 inhibitors suppress prostacyclin – a vasodilator and platelet inhibitor with heart protecting properties.”

This ‘new’ research has come much too late for the 50,000 who died and over 100,000 patients who suffered a stroke or a heart attack directly related to the use of a COX-2 inhibitor such as Vioxx or Celebrex.

However, simply looking at the mechanism of action of COX-2 inhibitors would lead anyone to predict that their use would be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular problems including stroke and heart attack.

How can I make such a strong statement? In my book, Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do, I discuss the biochemical mechanism of action of commonly used drugs. Nearly all prescription medications work by poisoning enzymes or blocking receptors in the body. Either way, most prescription drugs disrupt the normal biochemistry of the body which lead to adverse effects.

In the case of the COX-2 medications, they work by poisoning the enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). As previously stated, this enzyme is responsible for producing prostacyclin which is a vasodilator and a platelet inhibitor. It does not take an M.D. or a PhD to predict that a disruption in prostacyclin production will lead to an increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events. I describe the problems with the COX-2 inhibitors in more detail in my book.

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David Brownstein, M.D. is a Board-Certified family physician and is one of the foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. He is the Medical Director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, MI. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success in using natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice.