A prescription painkiller Bextra (Valdecoxib) has now been shown to more than double a patient's chance of a severe coronary event such as a heart attack, stroke or death in some instances. This represents a potential risk factor even greater than the painkiller Vioxx, which was removed from the market in September 2004.

Bextra has been recalled due to cardiovascular side effects.Although Bextra's manufacturer Pfizer claimed that Bextra was chemically different than Vioxx and did not present the same heart-related risks, Dr. Garret FitzGerald, a cardiologist and pharmacologist at the University of Pennsylvania, presented data in November proving that patients taking Bextra have a 2.19 times greater risk of experiencing a severe coronary event such as a heart attack, stroke or death. According to Dr. FitzGerald, "The magnitude of the signal with Bextra is even higher than what we saw with Vioxx. This is a time bomb waiting to go off."

Pfizer has also recently warned doctors that Bextra can cause rare but serious skin reactions like Stevens Johnson Syndrome more often than any other drug in its class. These potentially deadly skin reactions occur most often in the first two weeks of Bextra treatment. Bextra now carries a "black box" warning about these skin reaction risks, which is the final warning step before a recall.

Bextra's safety was originally demonstrated in clinical trials involving 7,300 arthritis patients over six months.

Since its introduction to the market, Bextra has been prescribed for people suffering from osteoarthritis, adult rheumatoid arthritis, and menstrual cramping.

On October 15th, 2004, after weeks of affirming Bextra’s safety profile, Pfizer announced its drug could cause serious complications in persons recovering from heart surgery. These events would ultimately lead to the recall of Bextra.

Hundreds of cases have been filed in the State Supreme Court of New York State. Thousands more have been filed in federal and state courts throughout the country. The Ashkin Law Firm has assumed a leadership role in the New York State litigation, and serves as an appointed member to the Plaintiff Steering Committee, by Supreme Court Judge, the Honorable Shirley Kornreich, who is overseeing the consolidated Bextra and Celebrex New York docket.



Ashkin Law Firm
Roberta Ashkin, Esq.
300 East 42nd St. 14th Fl
New York New York 10017
Telephone: (646) 779 8520
Facsimile: (212) 593 9997
» click here to locate our office