All the drugs in this category (including such familiar remedies as aspirin, Motrin, and Naprosyn) relieve pain and inflammation by limiting the effect of a natural enzyme called COX-2.
Although the chances of stomach or intestinal bleeding are low, a slight danger remains.
As a result, Bextra and other COX-2 inhibitors are less likely to cause the bleeding and ulcers that sometimes accompany sustained use of the older NSAIDs.
Be sure to tell your doctor if you've ever had this type of problem, and be alert for signs of bleeding such as stomach discomfort or black, tarry stools.
Bextra is a member of the relatively new class of painkillers called COX-2 inhibitors.
COX-2 inhibitors are part of a larger group of medications called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
It is prescribed for the relief of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea).
The problem becomes more likely the longer you take this medication, but can strike at any time without warning.
Unlike the older NSAIDs, however, the new COX-2 inhibitors do not interfere with COX-1, a related enzyme that exerts a protective effect on the lining of the stomach.
Bextra side effects that you should report to your health care professional or doctor as soon as possible:
More common side effects may include:
- Upper respiratory infection;
- Swelling in the hands and feet;
- Abdominal pain;
Less common and rare side effects may include:
- Loss of sensation;
- Kidney failure;
- Joint problems;
- Intestinal problems and bleeding;
- Inflamed tendons or bones;
- Hot flushes;
- High or low blood pressure;
- High cholesterol;
- Heart and circulation problems;
- Hair loss;
- Glandular problems;
- Generalized swelling;
- General feeling of illness;
- Facial swelling;
- Eye pain and problems;
- Ear and vision problems;
- Dry mouth;
- Digestive tract inflammation;
- Cysts and tumors;
- Clotting problems;
- Chest pain;
- Cervical dysplasia;
- Burning or tingling sensation;
- Bull's eye rash;
- Brittle bones;
- Breast pain;
- Blood disorders;
- Bad dreams;
- Bad breath;
- Back pain;
- Appetite changes;
- Allergic reactions;
- Abnormal taste;
- Abnormal or bloody stools;
- Abdominal fullness;
Bextra is contraindicated if you have any of the following conditions:
- If you are sensitive to aspirin;
- If you have advanced kidney disease, bextra is not recommended;
- If you have asthma;
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to the drug;
- If you're allergic to antibiotics known as sulfonamides (bactrim, cotrim, septra);
- If you've had ulcers or bleeding in the past;
Do not take Bextra with any of the following drugs:
- Water pills (diuretics) such as lasix and hydrodiuril;
- Warfarin (coumadin);
- Lithium (eskalith, lithobid);
- Ketoconazole (nizoral);
- Fluconazole (diflucan);
- Cough medications containing dextromethorphan, such as benylin and robitussin honey cough;
- Blood pressure medications known as ace inhibitors, including capoten, lotensin, and vasotec;
The recommended dose is 20 milligrams twice a day.
Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
The recommended dose is 10 milligrams once a day.
Warning signs of Bextra overdose may include:
- Stomach pain;
- Lack of energy;