Another Pain Drug had Problems
I have a chronic pain problem. I have a pain level that swings between the "3" on the average doctor's pain scale to a "7". The scale goes from "0" (no pain) to "10" (the worst pain ever experienced). Of course, everybody's "worst pain" is different, but let's assume it's the pain a pregnant mother experiences during a 40-hour labor. I've experienced a "10" twice. The first time followed a boxing accident and a fall when I was 18. I was in such pain my entire body was rigid with it. The other time was when I was forced out of bed eleven hours after having a spinal tap. I hope the corpsman that made me get up has never worked in a hospital since then.
I've taken both Celebrex and Vioxx. Neither has given me any heart problems. I can't take Celebrex because it thins my blood too much, and I'm susceptible to nose-bleeds. I no longer take Vioxx because the military no longer stocks it. I'm currently taking another COX-2 inhibitor, Bextra. Without these drugs, my pain level goes up at least two levels.
My father died at age 79 from congestive heart failure. My mother died at 80 from a stroke. Both were born long before the Depression, and both worked hard all their lives. I don't have any great fear of dying early from taking pain medication. Since stress is supposed to also be a killer, and pain causes stress, taking a pain medication such as Vioxx or Celebrex (or Bextra) may actually PROLONG my life. These are the kinds of decisions I believe should be left to the patient, not decided by some bureaucrat in Washington, or forced on the rest of us by lawsuit-happy trial lawyers.