The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
In Brief: Generic Celecoxib
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The FDA has authorized two manufacturers (Teva, Mylan) to market generic formulations of celecoxib (Celebrex – Pfizer), the only COX-2 selective inhibitor remaining on the US market. Celecoxib is less likely than nonselective NSAIDs to cause gastric ulcers or other GI toxicity,1 and unlike traditional NSAIDs, it does not have an antiplatelet effect.

Celecoxib is much less COX-2 selective than rofecoxib (Vioxx), which was removed from the US market because of an increased risk of cardiovascular events. One analysis of randomized clinical trials that included a total of about 26,000 patients taking celecoxib found no evidence of an increased risk of cardiovascular thrombotic events compared to nonselective NSAIDs or placebo.2 A review of controlled observational studies found an increased cardiovascular risk with celecoxib (RR 1.17) that was similar to the risk with ibuprofen (RR 1.18) and slightly higher than the risk with naproxen (RR 1.09).3 All NSAIDs can cause renal toxicity, especially in the elderly.4

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