The anti-inflammatory drug Bextra is a pain management medication prescribed for patients suffering arthritis, needing acute pain management, or who suffer severe menstrual symptoms, and is in a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Prescription NSAIDs, such as Bextra, are one of the leading classes of drugs that cause Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS).
Bextra Stevens Johnson Syndrome
Stevens Johnson Syndrome is a rare inflammatory skin disorder that can be life-threatening. The disease causes lesions in the mouth, eyes and on the body. Stevens Johnson Syndrome can occur at any age. The majority of cases range between the ages of 20 and 40; one-fifth of the cases occured in people under the age of 20.
In some cases, permanent skin damage and scarring occur. Lesions on internal organs can cause serious inflammation of the lungs, heart and kidneys. Up to 27 percent of those affected by Stevens Johnson Syndrome or related illnesses incur long term eye damage or vision loss. Up to 15 percent of patients with this syndrome die from the condition.
In April 2005, the FDA asked Pfizer, the drug giant manufacturer, to remove Bextra from the market. In October 2008, Pfizer reached an $894 million deal to settle most lawsuits related to risk of heart attack and strokes over its withdrawn pain reliever Bextra.
Bextra and Stevens Johnson Syndrome in the NewsAPR-07-05: The FDA announces a U.S. recall of Bextra after analyzing that the risks are greater than the benefits to consumers. Bextra has also been banned in Canada and Europe. Celebrex, a drug similar to Bextra, is still on the market and still poses a risk to consumers. The FDA will work with the manufacturer to revise the warning label and include the risk of cardiovascular (CV) events and gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding.
DEC-09-04: The FDA increases warning of Bextra after receiving more reports of serious, potentially fatal, skin reactions such as SJS and TEN. Patients known to have an allergy to sulfa products should not take Bextra.