Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What does Merck & Co.'s announcement from September 30, 2004 mean?
A: Merck & Co. announced that it is voluntary withdrawing Vioxx (rofecoxib)
from worldwide markets due to its own studies which shows that the drug
increases the patient's risk of heart attack and stroke by four times.
Q: How did the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) respond to Merck's
A: The FDA issued a public health advisory concerning the use of Vioxx. This
advisory is not a recall and is based on Merck & Co.'s voluntary withdrawl
of Vioxx from the market due to safety concerns.
Q: Why was Vioxx recalled and why did the FDA issue a Public Health
A: Merck's decision to withdraw Vioxx from worldwide markets was based on
data from its recent Adenomatous Polyp Prevention on VIOXX (APPROVe) trial.
The purpose of the trial was to see if Vioxx (25 mg) was effective in
preventing the reappearance of colon polyps in patients. However, the trial
had to be stopped early because the data showed that there was an increased
risk for serious cardiovascular events (heart attacks and strokes) after the
first 18 months of continuous treatment with Vioxx.
Q: What is Vioxx?
A: Vioxx is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) often prescribed to
relieve acute pain in adults, dysmenorrhea (painful menstrual cycles),
osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. It is marketed as 12.5mg, 25mg,
and 50mg tablets and as an oral suspension.
Q: How is Vioxx different from other arthritis medications?
A: Unlike the traditional NSAIDs - such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and Aspirin
- Vioxx selectively blocks the COX-2 enzyme, while leaving the COX-1 enzyme
alone. This is important because the COX-1 enzyme is essential in the
protection of the stomach lining, and blocking it could lead to ulcers,
bleeding, and gastrointestinal damage.
Q: What should I do if I am currently taking Vioxx?
A: Although there is only a small risk that a patient will suffer a heart
attack or stroke related to Vioxx, we encourage people currently taking
Vioxx to consult their physicians immediately for alternative treatments.
Q: What other drugs are similar to Vioxx?
A: Other COX-2 enzyme selective NSAIDs currently on the market are Celebrex
(celecoxib) and Bextra (valdecoxib).
Q: Can Vioxx users be compensated for health problems caused by Vioxx?
A: If Vioxx has caused you or a loved one significant harm - such as a heart
attack or a stroke - you may be entitled to a money settlement. You must
protect your legal rights before the passage of time bars them by various
states' statutes of limitations. You should contact a Vioxx attorney to evaluate
your rights. From a legal perspective, there is strong evidence that Merck
may have not acted responsibly when informing patients of the health risks
associated with its drug.
Q: Where can I get more information on Vioxx?
A: More information is available at
www.merck.com and www.vioxx.com
, or by calling Merck at 1-888-36VIOXX (1-888-368-4699). For more
information about Vioxx from the FDA visit
www.fda.gov/cder or call 888-INFO-FDA (888-463-6332).
Frequently Asked Questions About Vioxx
Vioxx Lawsuits and Attorneys