Bextra, also known as valdecoxib, is a prescribed medication used to alleviate the problems associated with arthritis and other inflammation-related conditions. The drug helps reduce the pain of swelling and fever without causing stomach irritation like aspirin.
NSAIDs work by blocking a chemical in the body called cycloxgenase. Cylooxgenase-1, or COX-1, shields the stomach from the harsh hydrochloric acid it contains, while COX-2, is found in inflamed tissues and causes the pain of fever, infection and arthritis. The drugs were effective for alleviating this pain, but the relief benefits were limited because the traditional NSAIDs caused stomach irritation. Taking an NSAIDs like aspirin causes pain because it blocks both chemicals (relieving pain) but also disabling the stomach protection of COX-1.
When the development of aspirin and ibuprofen came along, medical science searched for a way to provide a safe, non-addictive pain and fever relief without the risk of serious gastrointestinal damage. This came in the late 1990's when scientists isolated the protein COX-2 from COX-1 and created drugs to selectively block COX-2 without interfering with COX-1.
When these COX-2 inhibitors like Bextra were introduced, they relieved the pain of inflammation like arthritis without causing significant stomach damage. They soon became biggest selling pain relievers in the world, with sales in the tens of billions of dollars. Unfortunately, clinical trials began to warn patients about potential risks of increased cardiovascular trauma due to the disruption by COX-2 drugs of the way that the kidneys regulate blood pressure after filtering out impurities. These drugs started causing blood clots to form in the arteries causing heart attacks and strokes. Despite the documented accounts of these risks, doctors continued to prescribe Bextra in larger quantities.
Bextra is dangerous because it increases the patient's chance for heart attacks and strokes as well as endangering patients undergoing post-operative recovery for heart surgery. Patients taking Bextra also face an increased risk of developing potentially fatal skin allergies called Steven-Johnson syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis Syndrome. After further review, the FDA re-evaluated the drug and asked Pfizer to remove the drug from the market on April 7th, 2005.
Unfortunately the damage has already been done. Bextra caused millions of people to live in fear, anxiety and illness because the were prescribed an unsafe drug. If you've suffered from these dangerous and potentially fatal side effects, you have the right to seek compensation for your physical and emotional anguish. Immediately consult your physician to assess any damage to your health and immediately contact an experienced lawyer to help you get the answers and compensation you deserve. You are entitled to help. Contact a Bextra lawyer today!
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