valdecoxib, Bextra

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Discontinued Warning Icon Please Note: This Drug has been discontinued.

NOTE: April 7, 2005, Pfizer agreed to suspend sales and marketing of Bextra in the U.S., pending further discussions with the with the FDA. For more information, please read the FDA press release.

GENERIC NAME: valdecoxib


DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Valdecoxib is an oral drug that belongs to the family of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs are used primarily to treat pain and arthritis. Other NSAIDs include aspirin and aspirin-related drugs, ibuprofen (Motrin), indomethacin (indocin), naproxen (Naprosyn), diclofenac (Voltaren), sulindac (Clinoril), ketoprofen (Orudis), etc. Valdecoxib works by altering the production of prostaglandins, chemicals manufactured by the body that promote the inflammation of arthritis and cause the pain, swelling and tenderness of arthritic joints. Valdecoxib, like the newer NSAIDs celecoxib (Celebrex) and rofecoxib (Vioxx), blocks one of the enzymes that makes prostaglandins (cyclooxygenase 2), resulting in lower concentrations of prostaglandins. As a consequence, pain, swelling and tenderness of joints due to arthritis are reduced. Valdecoxib (like celecoxib and rofecoxib) differs from most other NSAIDs in that it causes less inflammation and ulceration of the stomach and intestine (at least with short-term treatment) and does not interfere with the clotting of blood.

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