Originally, Bextra packages included a warning
side effects including standard ailments such as stomach pain, diarrhea,
heartburn, back pain, headache, nausea, and upper respiratory infection.
In November 2002 the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
and Bextra marketers Pharmacia/Pfizer strengthened the
‘Contraindications, Warnings, and Adverse Reactions sections of
Bextra’s prescribing information.
The FDA has received about 20 reports of serious reactions to
Bextra, including the skin diseases Stevens Johnson Syndrome, toxic
and exfoliative dermatitis, plus allergic
reactions among Bextra users since sales began in March. These
situations can not be taken lightly, and in fact some instances are
considered serious and life threatening. Perhaps even more worrisome,
these side effects occurs both in patients with and without a history of
allergic reactions to sulfonamides. When the FDA made its new warnings
about Bextra, it estimated between 800,000 to one million people had
taken the drug since it first went on sale.
And Bextra isn’t alone. Other COX-2 inhibitors, such as Celebrex
and Vioxx, also have potentially damaging side effects. While makers of
Celebrex boasted that it doesn’t create the heart problems that Vioxx
can, makers of Vioxx bragged that unlike Celebrex, Vioxx doesn’t cause
stomach ulcers. All of which is little comfort for the potentially
thousands of people who’ve been adversely affected by the three.
In short, the potential downside of using Bextra, Celebrex, or
Vioxx could well prove far worse than the original condition requiring