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Bextra, also known as Valdecoxib is one of the prescription drugs and is used for treatment of osteoarthritis, painful menstruation and menstrual symptoms and rheumatoid arthritis. It was used to reduce pain caused by these troubles. It has been classified as a nonsteroidal anti inflammatory medicine or drug (NSAID) and hence should not be taken by those who are allergic to this kind of drugs or medication. This drug was given the name Bextra by G D Searle and company and United States Food and Drug Administration approved it on 20th November, 2001. But in the year 2005, it was removed from market due to possible risks of heart attack or stroke and a possibility of serious reactions on skin. It was available in the form of tablet by then and could only be purchased by prescription.

Its IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) name is 4-(5-methyl-3-phenylisoxazol-4-yl) benzenesulfonamide and chemical formula is C16H14N2O3S. Its molecular mass is around 314 grams per mole. Its bioavailability is 83% and protein binding is 98%. It supports hepatic kind of metabolism and its half life is 8
to 11 hours.

Bextra should not be taken by those having asthma problem, hives, or reaction from sulfa based medication. Reactions similar to these can be experienced by using Bextra. The doctor should be notified immediately if the patient experiences tenderness, abdominal pain, discomfort, nausea, bloody, tarry or black stools, lethargy, flu like symptoms, yellowing of skin or out of ordinary bruising or bleeding. These signs can just be an early signal of any dangerous side effect and usually occurs in first two weeks of the treatment, though can occur at a later stage also. Bextra should not be used for treatment of pain after the coronary artery bypass surgery. It can lead to an increase in incidence of cardiovascular events, wound complications and surgical infections.

It is not known if Bextra is harmful for unborn baby and hence is FDA pregnancy category C, though should not be taken during third trimester. Those over the age of 65 are more prone to side effects. Bextra can be taken with or without food, though the instructions of the doctor should be strictly followed. Double dose of this medicine should not be taken unless directed by the doctor. In case of overdose, emergency medical attention should be taken. Symptoms of overdose are nausea, drowsiness, stomach pain and vomiting. Generally, Bextra has no restriction on food or beverages, but doctor’s advice should be taken.

This medicine has been removed from the market since 2005. It should be taken only on prescription from the doctor. It should be kept away from children and
should not be shared. More information is available with pharmacists.


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