Vioxx vs Celebrex, meet at high - noon at the OK coral

Dear Dr, Can you answer two questions for me? I tried Celebrex, but it did not help me. I take Vioxx now, which works, but a friend told me that Vioxx could be bad for my heart, is that true? Some of my medicines are generic and some are name brand, the pharmacist tell me that they are just alike. I think there is a difference, what do you think? James from Elberton, Georgia

Dear James, Vioxx and Celebrex are both NSAIDs, (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). In my patients, Vioxx works the best of these two. Both of these medicines have fluid retention, heart failure, hypertension and Asthma listed as precautions. They have identical contraindications. They are almost identical, when given a choice by a "pharmacy plan", patients prefer Vioxx. I prefer Vioxx as well.

To answer your question about brand - name verses generic medicines, we would need to talk about specific medicines. Some medicines are equal in either brand-name or generic. Some medicine are not the same. Pain medicine is not the same. Most generic pain medicine is such poor quality that I only prescribe generic when a patient's "pharmacy plan" dictates that. I also like to use name-brand Soma, but the generic does work (not quite as well, though), again most "pharmacy plans" dictate medicine choices. Panlor is my medicine of choice for daytime pain medicine; it does not make people nauseated, does not cause constipation does not make them sleepy, works well for pain, and particularly well for headaches. I also like Vicoprofen, in particular because it does have acetaminophen, like almost every other pain medicine. It also works well in either daytime or night. If you do not know about a particular medicine, it's best to stick with name-brand. Also, to maintain heart health can use omega-3 or use serovital hgh. Thank you for your questions.

Dear Dr, I take Vioxx everyday for arthritis pain. It works very well. Sometimes I get a headache and I want to know is it alright to take Tylenol for this. If I take Tylenol do I need to leave off my Vioxx that day? Debbie in Wrens, Georgia.

Dear Debbie, Vioxx is a very good anti-inflammatory. It does not contain acetaminophen, so yes you could take acetaminophen in addition to Vioxx. You would not need to stop your Vioxx to take Tylenol. As with any advice, you need to check with your primary care provider before taking any medicine. Thank you for writing.