Bextra And Your Legal Options
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The drug Bextra, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drug was introduced in 2001 by drug manufacturer Pfizer, and was immediately heralded as an innovative way to treat problems, such as pain relief, menstrual cramps, osteoarthritis, and arthritis. Tens of millions of Americans suffer from arthritis, therefore pain medications are essential for everyday enjoyment. Unfortunately, after the drug was prescribed to many patients, it was discovered that there were several disturbing side-effects, even one known as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. Other side effects include possible stoke, adverse cardiovascular reactions, ulcers, and gastrointestinal bleeding. Although the drug was marketed to relieve pain in patients, the detrimental side effects were not only serious, but also dangerous.
Similar to Bextra was a drug by the makers at Merck called Vioxx, which was recalled in 2004. Vioxx, if taken for a period of 18 months or longer, doubled the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Both Bextra and Vioxx are classified as COX-2 selective medicines that were developed to treat pain. However, when Vioxx was under scrutiny for its dangers, the spotlight was also placed on other COX-2 drugs, such as Bextra. Eventually, in 2005, the FDA (the Food and Drug Administration) requested that Bextra\'s overall risk outweighed its benefits as a pain reliever. The FDA bases it\'s decision on the lack of adequate clinical data of cardiovascular safety, as well as the non-existant advantages of Bextra in comparison with other NSAIDs. In addition, reports have surfaced detailing Bextra causing a life-threatening skin reaction—Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome is a skin disease that can cause pain, anxiety, and other severe suffering. It causes skin problems such as inflammation, peeling rashes, or blistering of the mucus membrane. This blistering can be in places such as the vagina, mouth, and eyes, while the peeling rashes tend to be patchy and on other areas of the body. Fatality can occur from Stevens-Johnson Syndrome when the disease has advanced and infection seeps into the body through broken skin caused by the rashes. Other known side effects of the drug Bextra include blood clots, strokes, and non-bacterial meningitis. Also, kidney damage leading to kidney failure, adverse interaction with blood pressure medications, and most seriously, even death. With this long list of potentially fatal side effects, it is understandable why the FDA believed Bextra possesses more dangers than benefits.
If you have had any side effects from Bextra, you should contact a lawyer who specializes in drug litigation. There are lawyers dealing specifically with Bextra lawsuits who would be able to indicate if you have a valid case and whether or not you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your pain and suffering. Product liability is meant to ensure that manufacturers are responsible for what they put out into society. If a manufacturer has to pay out more for lawsuits than they are getting in revenue, they will not be able to profit from the product and will more than likely discontinue it, which protects our society from drugs that have disastrous side effects.
If you have suffered from Bextra and decide to seek compensation, you have a few possibilities to consider. You may be eligible to file an individual lawsuit in which you are the sole claimant and are filing for compensation from the drug as an individual. A class action lawsuit is when a number of individuals who have been similarly affected by something come together and file a claim. Because there are more people involved in the case, it becomes stronger in the eyes of the law and has less chance of failing than an individual lawsuit. Contact a lawyer today to find out what your legal rights are.