Health authorities were left scrambling Friday when the company that makes one of the world’s most popular pain relievers admitted Celebrex appears to increase the risk of heart attack in users.
Pfizer Inc., which informed Health Canada of the finding Friday, did not immediately pull the drug, as Merck did in September with Vioxx, another wildly popular drug in the same class which was found to double users’ risk of heart attack.
Health Canada spokesperson Jirina Vlk said officials with the department were in discussions with Pfizer to learn more about the finding.
Regulatory authorities will use the information learned in those discussions to determine what if any action to take, Vlk said.
In the meantime, Vlk offered this advice to users of the drug: “If people are concerned, they should discuss any concerns they have with their health-care provider.”