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Rev Med Brux. 2001 Sep;22(4):A377-80.

[COX-2 inhibitor non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, myth or reality?].

[Article in French]

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Clinique de Rhumatologie, D├ępartement de M├ędecine Interne, C.H.U. Brugmann, U.L.B.


The discovery of two isoforms of cyclooxygenase, Cox-1 constitutive and Cox-2 inducible, has prompted the development of new molecules with high Cox-2 selectivity. These new NSAIDs belong to the coxib class and have theoretically a better digestive tolerability than classical NSAID have. In Belgium, rofecoxib ((Vioxx) and celecoxib (Celebrex) are commercialized. Rofecoxib is indicated in the symptomatic treatment of osteoarthritis (12.5 to 25 mg/d) and celecoxib is indicated in osteoarthritis (200 mg/d) and in rheumatoid arthritis (200 to 400 mg/d). Several studies have demonstrated their efficacy, similarly to classical NSAID as diclofenac (Voltaren), naproxen (Naprosyne), ibuprofen (Brufen) and their superiority compared to placebo. Their safety profile for gastrointestinal events is proven in patients without ulcer history compared to classical NSAID. However, the concomitant use of aspirin decreases the benefit as demonstrated for celecoxib at 400 mg/d but not investigated for rofecoxib. The selective inhibition of Cox-2 with no effect on Cox-1 favors cardiovascular events in patients at risk. Other side effects are similar to classical NSAID. Thus Cox-2 inhibitors NSAID are interesting molecules for their sparing gastrointestinal activity. They must be used with caution in patients with ulcer history, in the elderly and in patients requiring aspirin for cardiovascular prophylaxis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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