Celebrex Stomach Ulcers And Gastrointestinal Bleeding
When you take a prescription drug, you expect it to do one thing: alleviate your symptoms. While we all understand that all drugs have side effects, that does not mean that we intend to put our health in danger. We place our trust in the medical professionals to prescribe us the medicines needed to bring us back to health; unfortunately some drugs are misleading, even to physicians. Celebrex came out in 1999 as one of a new classification of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), called COX-2 inhibitors. It relieves pain for those suffering from arthritis by combating inflammation caused by the natural enzyme COX-2.
Unfortunately, sometimes drugs go on the market without adequate testing and research first, and sometimes side effects emerge that were not part of the original bargain. That was the case with Celebrex. When it became available in 1999, Celebrex was indeed cause to celebrate. It alleviated arthritis pain and other types of pain (including menstrual cramps), and appeared to have minimal side effects. It even sidestepped the common gastrointestinal problems that other NSAIDs caused, because it did not interfere with COX-1, which protects the lining of the stomach.
However, as with many drugs that are at first hailed as wonder drugs, some unsettling facts started to emerge. Celebrex was released at the same time as Vioxx, a similar medication, and some people have alleged that the makers of Celebrex downplayed the seriousness of the drug's side effects in order to compete in the pharmaceutical market. Among the complications Celebrex can cause are stomach ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding. Ulcers are caused when something damages the stomach lining, thus allowing the stomach acid to leak out into the body. Stomach acid is one of the most corrosive substances there is. One of the amazing things about the human body, however, is that the inside of the stomach is completely immune to the acid. It is only when that acid escapes into other parts of the body that it is a problem. Celebrex and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), even aspirin and ibuprofen, can damage the stomach lining and unleash that acid into the stomach, resulting in painful ulcers.
Since all NSAIDs present some risk of ulcers and other internal bleeding, the fact that Celebrex causes them it is not surprising. However, the degree to which it causes ulcers has raised some eyebrows. Some scientists feel the amount of damage Celebrex can cause to the stomach is far greater than it should be, and greater than other NSAIDs. Some experts claim these side effects should have been emphasized more strongly when Celebrex was first released, so that patients could make informed decisions about whether they were willing to assume the risks of taking the drug for their arthritis or other pain. These events can occur at any time while taking Celebrex, with or without warning. It is believed that only one out of five patients with a serious gastrointestinal adverse event was symptomatic.
Many Celebrex users have reported serious ulcers or gastrointestinal bleeding as the result of the drug, and there have been several cases of internal hemorrhaging. About a dozen deaths have even been ascribed to Celebrex. The problem is, some damage is not evident at first, and may not be evident at all except through a doctor's tests. So if you took Celebrex, you should have your doctor examine you for all the known side effects that Celebrex may cause, especially if you have been prone to ulcers in the past. Hopefully, you are part of the majority who were not harmed at all. But, it is possible that you are part of the group who did suffer from stomach ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, or other complications as the direct result of taking Celebrex.
If you are in that group, you should consider your legal options. If Pfizer minimized its product's side effects in an effort to make money, that is illegal. If the company released the drug without sufficient testing and research behind it, that is also a problem. You should consult with an attorney to see what your options are. A lawsuit might be in order, and dozens of people already have lawsuits against Celebrex and other drugs have already been filed. You may be entitled to damages, and the first step in determining that is to see a lawyer.