The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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Celecoxib Safety Revisited

The results of a clinical trial (PRECISION)1 comparing the cardiovascular safety of the COX-2 selective NSAID celecoxib (Celebrex, and generics) with that of ibuprofen and naproxen, which are nonselective, have been described in the lay press in terms that may overestimate the safety of celecoxib.

NSAID PHARMACOLOGY — NSAIDs inhibit the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX), which is required for synthesis of prostaglandins and thromboxane. COX-1 inhibition blocks the protective effect of prostaglandins on the gastric mucosa, which can cause gastrointestinal toxicity, and has an antiplatelet effect that can cause bleeding. COX-2 inhibition produces therapeutic anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, but it has effects on vascular endothelium that can be prothrombotic.

Ibuprofen and naproxen inhibit COX-1 more than COX-2. The COX-2 selective NSAID rofecoxib (Vioxx), ... more      

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