Celebrex Arthritis Drug Disrupts Heart Rhythm
COX-2 inhibitors are having a tough year. Vioxx was withdrawn
voluntarily a few months ago and now Celebrex, the arthritis drug that
blocks pain by inhibiting the COX-2 enzyme, has been shown in
laboratory studies to induce arrhythmia, or irregular beating of the
heart, via a pathway unrelated to its COX-2 inhibition.
University at Buffalo researchers discovered this unexpected finding while conducting basic research on potassium channels.
Celebrex (Celecoxib) has been taken by over 27 million patients since
its approval by the FDA in 1998. The new research found that low
concentrations of the drug, corresponding to a standard prescription,
reduced the heart rate and induced pronounced arrhythmia in fruit flies
and the heart cells of rats.