Reports from Health Day News discussed a new study that found a link between an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and other health complications and stopping the medication Vioxx. The drug was removed in 2004 from the market, due to associations of these risks with taking the drug, however, new research has suggested that this link persists for up to a year and may even increase if one has taken the medication for a period of time, and stops taking it. After a year, evidence suggests that the risks become lowered to the normal rate.
The study regarding the use of Vioxx and NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) was published in the October 14, 2008 online edition of The Lancet. It involved the follow-up results of individuals who participated in a prior study that was stopped in 2004 because of the increased risks. Of the 2,600 individuals involved in the initial study, 84% of the participants were contacted for follow up results. The conclusions were that there was still an increased risk of more than 70% for these individuals. The study is what many were waiting for to provide evidence of the long lasting effects of Vioxx.