What You Need To Know About The Bextra Painkilling Drug

The drug Bextra (valdecoxib was commonly used to treat inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, but was taken off the market by the manufacturer in 2005 due to side effects. Considered a prescription-only, non-steroid, anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), in the same class as over-the-counter pain relievers like Ibuprofen, Bextra has been linked to several, more serious side effects.

Increased Risk for Cardiovascular Events

One of the main reasons for removing the drug from the market in the United States was emerging evidence that its use was associated with increased risk of cardiovascular events. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concluded, based on independent studies, those receiving treatment with Bextra were at increased risk of suffering from heart attack or stroke. Those with other risk factors for these events, or that had previously suffered from cardiovascular disease, were at an even higher risk.

Life-Threatening Skin Reactions

The potential for a mild to moderate skin reaction to a drug is almost always possible with several drug classes. However, life-threatening skin reactions were also noted in the decision to remove Bextra from the market. While this was thought to typically occur during the initial period of treatment, it could also develop following long term use. Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis are two of the more serious skin conditions that were closely associated with valdecoxib. A diagnosis with these or other skin conditions during or following treatment may be directly linked with use of the drug.

Lack of Long Term Studies

In addition to the above mentioned findings, there have been few long term studies regarding the use of Bextra for the treatment of arthritis. The nature of these side effects is very serious and could not only result in life-altering events for the patient, but even death.

Sources:

http://www.hss.edu/conditions_bextra-withdrawal-hss-physicians-reflect-options.asp.
http://www.drugs.com/bextra.html.