Pfizer recalled its arthritis drug Bextra in 2005. After the recall Pfizer was flooded with lawsuits against it related to Bextra side effects. Even before recall, it was facing many lawsuits related to Bextra besides lawsuits against other drug manufactured by it called Celebrex. Numerous lawyers who were already involved in lawsuits against Vioxx around the U.S. decided to take up the Bextra lawsuits too. They found the nature of lawsuit against Vioxx, Celebrex and Bextra were same.

Bextra is the brand name for valdecoxib. It is an oral drug for treatment of pain. 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.

The most common side effects of valdecoxib are stomach pain, diarrhea, headache, nausea, weight gain and sleep disturbances. But it can cause severe side effects such as heart failure, kidney failure, hypertension or chest pain too in some cases. It can result in allergic reactions such as rash, swelling itching or yellowing of skin. In some cases stomach and intestinal ulcers, bleeding, blurred vision, anxiety, photosensitivity, fatigue and lethargy have also been reported.

The First Bextra Case

The first Bextra case was filed by Parker & Waichman, LLP and Seeger Weiss LLP. This case was related to heart attack due to use of Bextra. They filed the lawsuit in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York. They sued Pfizer on behalf of a Bextra using patient on charges of wrongful death.  The 46-year-old man died of a heart attack, which was result of using Bextra. The lawsuit blamed Pfizer for not accepting the responsibility of providing adequate warning of potential risks of Bextra. The lawsuit alleged that Pfizer has failed to provide full information regarding side effects of using Bextra to consumers, though it was fully aware of the fact. Bextra is known to cause several fatal side effects including heart attacks, Stevens Johnson Syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis.

The FDA decision to recall Bextra was welcomed by many and was being seen as a strengthening element in Bextra Lawsuits. Many lawyers planned to take more Bextra cases as most of them were similar in nature. All the lawsuits against Pfizer related to side effects of Bextra alleged that Pfizer failed to disclose the potential side effects related to Bextra. Many people using this drug had suffered heart attacks and strokes.

Activists opposing COX-2 drugs such as Bextra, Celebrex, and Vioxx were demanding recall of all these drugs for a long time. They welcomed Bextra recall and encouraged people to file case against Bextra if they have suffered its serious side effects. Thousands of cases were filed against Pfizer relating to Bextra side effects. They had blamed Pfizer of delaying the Bextra recall and putting lives of thousands of people using Bextra, in danger.