Bextra Side Effects and Lawsuits

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For many people, arthritis, whether it’s osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, is heartbreaking and debilitating.  Not only that, but it can be difficult to find medication to alleviate the pain without suffering serious and even deadly side effects.  That is the case with Bextra.  It is one of the COX-2 inhibitors that was prescribed primarily for arthritis relief, menstruation relief, and any type of anti-inflammatory use.  That group included Vioxx and Celebrex, both of which have faced serious questions and lawsuits over their marketing and side effects.  Bextra was approved by the FDA in 2001, and many patients welcomed it as the pain relief they needed. 

Bextra did not show the deadly side effects as quickly or as intensely as Vioxx, but patients have, from the beginning, reported those side effects, and over the years, the reports have increase.  In fact, the manufacturer, Pfizer, Inc., has set aside millions of dollars to settle recalls, government suits, and private personal injury suits in relation to this drug.

Risks and Symptoms of Bextra

Since its FDA approval, there have been many reports of side effects, including:

  • Heart attacks and strokes
  • Blood clots
  • Nonbacterial meningitis
  • Stevens Johnson Syndrome, which is a skin disease that appears like burns, with redness and peeling
  • Toxic epiderma necrolysis
  • Kidney damage/failure
  • Dangerous interactions with blood pressure medications
  • Death

These are serious consequences that caused Pfizer to remove Bextra from the market in 2005.  And while studies do not definitively affirm who would be most affected by taking Bextra and what other long-term consequences might occur, some studies show that it is primarily those who have undergone bypass surgery who are most at risk for heart and stroke conditions.

Bextra Claims and Lawsuits

As a result of the many individual claims and reports about side effects from Bextra, a class action suit was filed, in addition to many thousands of individual suits.  In late 2008, Pfizer announced that it was setting aside nearly $9 million for these suits, and they are in the process of settling them at the present time.  Not only that, but the United States Department of Justice fined Pfizer $2.3 billion for fraud and misleading the public about the benefits and uses of Bextra.  That is the largest criminal fine in history. 

Legal Help from a Lawyer

Those who have been injured by the use of Bextra should call a personal injury or product liability lawyer as soon as possible.  Many of these claims are being settled quickly, and every state has a statute of limitations on these kinds of cases.  The sooner a plaintiff files their claim, the better, in order to protect their rights and avoid missing this important remedy.

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