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Pfizer Likely To Add Bextra Warning



10/19/2005 5:12:08 PM

Pfizer Inc. is likely to add a so-called "black box" warning to the label of its pain killer Bextra, which is similar to the recently pulled Vioxx, because it sometimes leads to a serious skin reaction. Pfizer made the announcement in its most recent quarterly report, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday. A black-box warning is the strongest warning available for prescription drugs. The drug has in a few cases caused Stevens Johnson syndrome, which occurs when the immune system turns on itself to rid itself of a drug, in effect burning the patient from the inside out. It leads to severe, painful blistering of the mucous membranes and skin, according to Jean Farrell-McCawley, founder of the Stevens Johnson Syndrome Foundation. In many patients, their skin actually starts coming off in sheets, she said.

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