Bextra belongs to the family of anti-inflammatory medications referred to as NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) and is the brand name for the drug Valdecoxib. Bextra was used to teat patients with chronic inflammation disorders such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and severe menstruation pain. Bextra works to reduce pain, inflammation and fever in the body thereby lessening the effects of these chronic conditions. However, Bextra was pulled from the market by the manufacturer on a voluntary basis in 2005 once it was determined that taking the medication severely elevated the risk for potentially fatal heart attack and stroke as well as causing a serious skin reaction in some users.
An elevated risk of heart attack and stroke is a concern with many of the medications in the NSAID category and should cause extra concern on the part of the patient. Although Bextra was pulled from the market, other anti inflammatory drugs may carry similar risks and should be discussed thoroughly with a doctor before starting use. In many cases, the benefits the patient receives from the drug may outweigh the risks associated with it, especially those patients who have not responded well to, or had much success with other medications and treatment options. However, this is a determination which must be made after the patient has provided the doctor with a complete list of prescription and over the counter medications being currently taken as well as any vitamins and supplements.
The recall of Bextra in 2005 raised many concerns about drug safety among the medical community and the public at large. It is still unclear if Bextra would have resulted in an elevated number of deaths or injury among its users, but the risk was high enough for the medication to no longer be considered safe for use.
Patients taking any NSAID medication should undergo routine visits with their doctors to be examined for any possible detrimental effects from ongoing use.
Disclaimer: Cliff Schaffer does not personally endorse or support any of the comments made within the writings of this article.