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Celecoxib versus a non-selective NSAID plus proton-pump inhibitor: what are the considerations?.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacy Practice, Purdue University School of Pharmacy and Phamaceutical Sciences, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2091, USA.


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are extensively used worldwide. However, associated adverse gastrointestinal effects (NSAID gastropathy) such as bleeding, perforation and obstruction result in considerable morbidity, mortality, and expense. Although it is essential to employ gastroprotective strategies to minimize these complications in patients at risk, controversy remains on whether celecoxib alone or a non-selective NSAID in conjunction with a proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) is a superior choice. Recent concerns regarding potential cardiovascular toxicities associated with cox-2 selective inhibitors may favor non-selective NSAID/PPI co-therapy as the preferred choice. Concomitant use of low-dose aspirin with any NSAID increases the risk of gastrointestinal complications and diminishes the improved gastrointestinal safety profile of celecoxib; whereas use of ibuprofen plus PPI regimens may negate aspirin's antiplatelet benefits. Evidence shows that concurrent use of a non-selective NSAID (such as naproxen) plus a PPI is as effective in preventing NSAID gastropathy as celecoxib, and may be more cost-effective. Patients failing or intolerant to this therapy would be candidates for celecoxib at the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration of time. Potential benefits from using low-dose celecoxib with a PPI in patients previously experiencing bleeding ulcers while taking NSAIDs remains to be proven. An evidence-based debate is presented to assist clinicians with the difficult decision-making process of preventing NSAID gastropathy while minimizing other complications.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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