Bextra is the brand name for valdecoxib. It is an oral drug for treatment of pain. It is one of the NSAIDs, i.e., nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It is used for treating pain, swelling, fever and tenderness, which is caused by arthritis. It acts by affecting production of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are chemicals, which produce pain and swelling of joints in arthritis. It blocks one of enzyme responsible for production of prostaglandins. Thus pain and swelling of joints is reduced. It is also prescribed for menstrual cramps.

Structural Formula

Its chemical formula is 4-(5-methyl-3-phenyl-4-isoxazolyl) benzenesulfonamide. It is a diaryl-substituted isoxazole. Its empirical formula is C16H14N2O3S. Valdecoxib has a molecular weight of 314.36. It is insoluble in water and insoluble in methanol and ethanol. It is also soluble in organic solvents and alkaline aqueous solutions. Valdecoxib is a white crystalline powder.

Bextra tablets are prescribed for oral intake. Every tablet contains 10 or 20 mg of valdecoxib. It also has lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, pregelatinized starch, croscarmellose sodium, magnesium stearate, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate and titanium dioxide as inactive ingredients.

Uses of Bextra

Bextra is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It is used for relief from pain and swelling or inflammation.

It is mainly used to treat both types of arthritis whether osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

It is used to reduce pain, inflammation, and stiffness caused by osteoarthritis and also by adult rheumatoid arthritis.

It should not be used for relief from pain after surgery. Pain after heart bypass surgery is a condition when it should be avoided completely.  It can develop clots in blood, which can lead to heart attacks or strokes.

It is also used to relieve pain in menstruation or menstrual cramps.

It is also used to reduce fever.

It is also used for purposes not listed in medical guide of this drug.

It can also affect the action of diuretics in some patients leading to water retention.

There is no evident proof of its adverse effects during pregnancy but it should be avoided, as there are some cases of fetal abnormalities in women taking this drug. Before taking in pregnancy, its pros and cons must be fully evaluated.

It is better to consult a doctor before using valdecoxib if you are a breast-feeding mother.

In some cases there may be allergic reactions such as skin reactions, rash, mouth sores, itching, swelling, dizziness, and trouble breathing after using Bextra. It is advisable to consult a doctor in such conditions.

Precautions before using Bextra

Consult your doctor before taking Bextra, if you have allergy with sulfa-based medication.

Bextra should be avoided to treat pain after coronary artery bypass surgery. It can cause an increased risk of cardiovascular problems, deep surgical infections and wound complications. Consult your doctor first.

It is advisable to consult your doctor before taking Bextra in following conditions.

  • If you smoke
  • If you drink alcohol
  • If you have an ulcer or bleeding problem in the stomach
  • If you have asthma
  • If you have congestive heart failure
  • If you are suffering from fluid retention
  • If you have heart disease
  • If you have high blood pressure
  • If you are suffering from any bleeding disorder or are on an anticoagulant
  • If you are using other steroid medicines
  • If you are suffering from any liver disease
  • If you are suffering from any kidney disease

You must consult your doctor if you suffer from any of the above conditions. Some of these cases need completely avoiding Bextra and in some cases there is need of monitoring or dose adjustment.

Bextra is a FDA pregnancy category C medicine. Its harmful effects in pregnancy or breast-feeding mothers are not known. It is advisable to consult your doctor in such conditions. If you are older than 65 years, then also consult your doctor before using it.