Arthritis Drug Prexige Withdrawn

Prexige - adverse reactions including liver problems


An arthritis drug has had its licence suspended following concerns that it may cause liver damage.

Prexige has been available in the UK since December 2005 has been ordered to withdraw from the market by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The latest data on the drug shows an increase in the number of cases of serious liver reactions that occurred with the licensed 100mg dose according to a spokesman for the MHRA.

Prexige had previously been subjected to prescribing restrictions for patients with current or previous liver problems, and additional requirements for blood tests before and during treatment for other patients.

Healthcare professionals are now being told of the suspension and advised not to prescribe the drug.

Around 8.5 million prescriptions for the treatment have been written since July 2005 and approximately 5, 000 of these were for British patients in the last year.

There have been 23 reports of suspected adverse reactions since March 2006 to the ingredient lumiracoxib, three of which related to liver problems.

The drug has been used to treat symptoms for conditions such as osteoarthritis of the knee and hip.

Andrew Tucker from Irwin Mitchell Solicitors commented: Following the withdrawal of Vioxx and Bextra and the recognised serious side effects of Celebrex and Arcoxia it is very disturbing to see such serious adverse effects linked to another drug.

The class of drugs to which Prexige belongs were thought to be extremely effective for dealing with the pain of arthritis but carry with them serious risks of heart attacks, strokes and now serious liver problems.

Time will tell whether Novartis and the UK regulatory agencies should have made the decision to withdraw this drug earlier but it is concerning to us that the drug was withdrawn a few months ago in both Australia and Canada and was not even granted a licence for sale in the United States.

If you or someone you know has been affected by the Prexige arthritis drug, we may be able to help claim compensation. Fill in our online claims form for free advice.