FDA Opening Hearing on Arthritis Drug Safety

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Two Food and Drug Administration advisory committees are holding a hearing about the safety of popular painkillers including Celebrex and Bextra.

The prescription drugs, called Cox-2 inhibitors, are popular for people with chronic pain -- particularly because they don't cause stomach problems like some over-the-counter medications.

But there are concerns following a long-term study that showed an increase in heart attacks and strokes among people using the related drug Vioxx.

In response to the study, the maker of Vioxx halted sales in September.

A paper in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine reported Monday on a new analysis that indicates Cox-2 inhibitors raise blood pressure more than conventional pain medications.