Pharmaceutical company Merck thinks it has solved your Yom Kippur headache—and that its infamous drug Vioxx, which was the subject of a massive recall and class-action settlement, is involved. The anti-headache drug, marketed as Arcoxia, is a Vioxx cousin. In studies, people who took it the night before a night and day of fasting experienced either no headache or a reduced headache (as compared to those who took the placebo), and found it easier to fast. Arcoxia is available in several European countries as well as Israel. Stateside, however, it is hard to come by: the Food and Drug Administration refused to approve it, on the grounds that it is too similar to its black-sheep cousin. Dunno—it certainly beats suppositories!
Could Vioxx Cousin Prevent Yom Kippur Headache? [Reuters/Vos Iz Neias?]
Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.