Another COX-II inhibitor bites the dust
Patients of Osteoarthritis who have been taking the drug Lumiracoxib (Prexige, from Novartis Pharma) woke up to a rude shock as the drug has been withdrawn from the UK markets by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Lumiracoxib belongs to a class of painkillers called as COX-II inhibitors. Recently Vioxx, another COX-II inhibitor, was withdrawn from the markets because of its potential to increase the incidence of strokes and heart attacks. Merck Sharp Dome was asked to cough up 4.8 billion USD as compensations to users.
Lumiracoxib has been shown to cause serious liver reactions among the users and patients taking it have been advised to visit their GPs for further action. An Europe-wide inquiry into the drug’s safety has been instituted and once concluded the finality of this ban will become more clear. Meanwhile Novartis has suggested that it is an excellent drug and has to be used after carefully weighing the risk to benefit ratio.
Patients of Osteoarthritis have now been deprived of yet another painkiller and the choices seem to be narrowing down drastically.