Playing with firecrackers


At the risk of becoming a blog that simply directs you to someone elses (“Derek Lowe’s, to be specific”:http://www.corante.com/pipeline), I encourage you to read his “comments”:http://www.corante.com/pipeline/archives/2004/12/17/the_fda_weighs_in.php on the recent findings of _Celebrex_.
Let’s face the truth: we know very little of what we are playing with when we test a pharmaceutical product. The recent “findings about Vitamin E”:http://www.google.com/custom?domains=scienceblog.com&q=%22vitamin+e%22&sa=Search&sitesearch=scienceblog.com&client=pub-1680599806301730&forid=1&ie=ISO-8859-1&oe=ISO-8859-1&cof=GALT%3A%23008000%3BGL%3A1%3BDIV%3A%23FF9966%3BVLC%3A663399%3BAH%3Acenter%3BBGC%3AFFFFFF%3BLBGC%3AFFFFFF%3BALC%3A000000%3BLC%3A000000%3BT%3A0000FF%3BGFNT%3A0000FF%3BGIMP%3A0000FF%3BLH%3A50%3BLW%3A75%3BL%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.scienceblog.com%2Fcommunity%2Fthemes%2FColdsteel%2Fimages%2Fsciblog.gif%3BS%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.scienceblog.com%2Fcommunity%2Findex.php%3BFORID%3A1%3B&hl=en indicate that we don’t know a lot even about the more well-known substances. While the cardiovascular risks associated with inhibiting COX-2 without COX-1 have been suspected for some time, it really has taken this long to confirm these risks, and even then they don’t show up until about 18 months on the drug. We know a few of the pathways we are inhibiting by reducing the activity of COX-2, but not all. What we don’t know really can hurt you.
Every time you put a drug into your body, you really are playing with a firecracker, even if you are taking a drug with a good safety profile. As always, the decision to take a drug should come after a risk benefit analysis, and it’s always a good idea to stop and ask your doctor, “Is this the best way to treat me?”

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