Bextra (Valdecoxib)

What is it?

Bextra is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to reduce pain and inflammation and to ease mild to moderate pain in osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and menstrual pain.

FDA approved:

November 19, 2001

Average annual cost:

About $900.00 

Brand Names and International Availability:

Bextra (US)

How does it work?

This drug works by blocking the enzyme in your body that makes prostaglandins. Decreasing prostaglandins helps to reduce pain and swelling. It does not inhibit cyclooxygenase-1, which supposedly makes it easier on the stomach than traditional NSAIDs.


One 10mg or 20mg tablet daily.

How should I take it?

Take at the same time every day. May be taken with or without food. If stomach upset occurs take with food or milk.


Do not take Bextra if you have had an allergic reaction to aspirin or other NSAID.

Bextra should be avoided in those with a history of peptic ulcer or GI bleeding.

The effects of Bextra have not been studied in children.

It should NOT be used in the third trimester of pregnancy.

It is not known if Bextra is excreted in breast milk. It should not be taken by nursing mothers.

Drug Interactions:

Bextra can increase the effect of anti-coagulants.

Bextra should not be taken with any other NSAIDs.

Possible side effects:

These side effects are not considered serious but are certainly annoying for those experiencing them. The most frequently reported side effects are stomach upset, nausea, diarrhea, or headache

More serious side effects that you should report right away include blood in urine, black, tarry stools, dark yellow or brown urine, difficulty breathing, fast heartbeat, skin rash, hives, redness, blistering, peeling or itching, stomach tenderness, pain, bleeding, or cramps, unexplained weight gain or edema, and yellowing of eyes or skin.

Signs of a possible allergic reaction are rash, swelling and difficulty breathing. These symptoms should be reported immediately.

Precautions & Special Notes:

You may be required to have frequent blood work while on this medication. It is very important that you keep all lab and doctor?s appointments.

If you get black, tarry stools or vomit up what looks like coffee grounds, call your doctor at once. You may have a bleeding ulcer.

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