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Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2013 Feb;69(2):133-41. doi: 10.1007/s00228-012-1335-1. Epub 2012 Jun 26.

Cardiovascular safety of lumiracoxib: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials in patients with osteoarthritis.

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  • 1Medicines Monitoring Unit (MEMO) & Hypertension Research Centre (HRC), Division of Medical Sciences, University of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee DD1 9SY, UK.



To re-evaluate the cardiovascular risk of lumiracoxib compared with other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or placebo in patients with osteoarthritis.


We conducted a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials of lumiracoxib versus placebo or other NSAIDs in patients with osteoarthritis reported up to January 2010. Both published and unpublished trials were included. PubMed searches using predefined search criteria (lumiracoxib AND osteoarthritis, limits: none; COX-189 AND osteoarthritis, limits: none) were used to obtain the relevant published trials. Novartis granted explicit access to their company studies and the right to use these study reports for the purposes of publication in peer reviewed journals. Endpoints were the Antiplatelet Trialists' Collaboration (APTC) endpoint and individual cardiovascular endpoints.


Meta-analysis of 6 trials of lumiracoxib versus placebo revealed no difference in cardiovascular outcomes. Meta-analysis of 12 trials of lumiracoxib versus other NSAIDs also revealed no difference. The pooled odds ratios were: 1.16 (95% CI 0.82, 1.63); 1.66 (95% CI 0.84, 3.29); 0.95 (95% CI 0.52, 1.76) and 1.04 (95% CI 0.60, 1.80) for the APTC endpoint, myocardial infarction, stroke and cardiovascular death respectively.


The results suggest that there were no significant differences in cardiovascular outcomes between lumiracoxib and placebo or between lumiracoxib and other NSAIDs in patients with osteoarthritis. Wide confidence intervals mean that further research is needed in this area to confirm these findings.

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