Thursday, April 07, 2005


Bextra: Going, Going, Gone....

The drug maker Pfizer announced today that it's pulling painkiller Bextra off the market (and suspending sales in Europe) at the request of the Food and Drug Administration. Pfizer buried the info on its web site, focusing instead in its press release on the company's efforts to write better labels for its other painkiller, Celebrex.

Bextra falls into the category of "nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs," and they've been under scrutiny recently because studies are finding they can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes in people who take them. Vioxx, made my Merck, was also taken off the market in 2004 for similar problems, but Celebrex has been allowed to remain and so has Bextra...until now.

I'll say it again: before you take ANYTHING prescribed by a doctor, do your homework. Read the insert (small type and all) that comes with the drug, especially the part titled "contraindications" (which means "reasons not to take this drug") and "side effects." Look up information about the drug on the Internet (Medline Plus has the required information). Ask serious questions. And look for alternatives.

For people who have osteoarthritis or joint stiffness/pain because of overuse injuries or advancing age, hard stretching (the kind provided by the Rossiter System) can produce noticeable results with no side effects. And no heart attacks or strokes, either.

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