Note: Vioxx was removed from the US market in 2004; Bextra in 2005; and Celebrex now includes warnings. A recent study in the Southern Medical Journal shows that some asthmatics who have had serious reactions to aspirin may be able to take the cox-2 inhibitors such as Celebrex and Vioxx.

People who develop asthma in later life are told never to take aspirin or non-steroidal arthritis medicines because they can cause shock, hives, asthma, itchy eyes and nose, diarrhea and stomach cramps. Your body makes two major types of prostaglandins called Cox-1 and Cox-2. Aspirin blocks both cox-1 that prevents stomach ulcers and kidney damage, and cox-2 that causes swelling and pain. Vioxx and Celebrex are arthritis medicines that block cox-2 that cause pain and swelling, but are less likely to cause stomach ulcers and kidney damage. Doctors now recommend that people with late-onset asthma avoid all aspirin-like drugs, but new evidence suggests that some asthmatics may be able to take Vioxx or Celebrex. Check with your doctor.

Successful Use of Cyclooxygenase-2 Inhibitor in a Patient With Aspirin-Induced Asthma. Fred Marks, Kristopher Harrell, and Rick Fischer. Southern Medical Journal. Vol.94, No.2, February 2001

Reported 3/11/01; checked 8/9/05

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