Drug: Vioxx (Brand Name)
Rofecoxib (Generic Name)
Type of Drug: Vioxx is a new kind of painkiller used in the treatment of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, painful menstruation, and other types of acute pain. It is a member of the family of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Other drugs in this family include Celebrex and Bextra.
Indications/Uses: Like older drugs in this category such as aspirin, Motrin, and Naprosyn, these newer drugs are believed to fight pain and inflammation. Unlike the older medications, however the newer drugs do not interfere with enzymes which apply a protective effect on the lining of the stomach. These newer drugs are therefore less likely to cause the bleeding and ulcers that sometimes come with continuous use of the older drugs.
Precautions: Although Vioxx is not likely to cause stomach and intestinal bleeding, a small danger remains. Make sure to tell your doctor if you?ve ever had this problem, and watch for warning signs such as stomach discomfort or black, tarry stools. These symptoms can strike without warning.
Contraindications: Do not take Vioxx if aspirin, Motrin or Naprosyn have ever given you asthma, hives, or other allergic symptoms.
Drug Interactions: If Vioxx is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Vioxx with the following:

Blood pressure medications
Water pills
Warnings: If you develop swelling of the face, tongue, and throat, or begin to have difficulty breathing after taking a dose of Vioxx, seek medical help immediately. You may be having a serious allergic reaction to the drug. Vioxx occasionally causes liver problems. Warning signs include nausea, fatigue, rash, itching, right upper stomach pain, flu-like symptoms, and yellowing of the skin and eyes. If you develop these symptoms, stop taking Vioxx and call your doctor immediately. Don?t take the drug at all if you have a history of liver disease. Also avoid Vioxx if you have severe kidney disease. Long-term use of NSAIDs such as Vioxx can interfere with the kidneys, especially in people with heart failure, poor kidney function, or liver problems. Vioxx is more likely to cause serious gastrointestinal side effects if you?ve had a problem with ulcers or stomach bleeding in the past. Older adults and those in poor health are also more vulnerable, as are people being treated with steroids and blood thinners. Caution is also warranted if you have asthma. Vioxx could trigger an attack, especially if you are also sensitive to aspirin. You should also use Vioxx cautiously when suffering from dehydration. Vioxx sometimes causes water retention, which can aggravate swelling, high blood pressure, and heart failure. Use this drug with caution if you have any of these conditions, and report any unexplained swelling or weight gain to your doctor immediately. Vioxx may also cause a slight increase in the risk of dangerous blood clots, and should be used with caution if you have a history of clogged arteries, angina, or heart attack. Alert your doctor immediately if you develop chest pain. If you?ve been taking a steroid medication for arthritis, do not discontinue it immediately when you begin therapy with Vioxx. Vioxx is not a substitute for such drugs. Because Vioxx relieves inflammation, fever, and pain, it may hide signs of an infection. Let any doctor you?re seeing know that you?re taking this drug.

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