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Pharmacol Res. 2009 Oct;60(4):254-63. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2009.03.021. Epub 2009 May 23.

Efficacy and safety of piroxicam revisited. A global meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials.

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Public Health, Epidemiology and Health Economics Unit, University of Liege, Faculty of Medicine, Belgium.



The relative efficacy/safety profiles of traditional (non-selective) NSAIDs (t-NSAIDs) have been repeatedly challenged. To better understand the efficacy and safety profile of piroxicam, a widely used NSAID, a meta-analysis of comparative RCTs was carried out according to the QUOROM guidance.


A systematic comprehensive research (years 1980-2006) of any comparative randomised controlled trial (of over 7-day duration) with piroxicam for the treatment of osteoarticular conditions was conducted. Conservative analyses were stratified by comparator, outcome, indication, duration, and doses. Publication bias and robustness were exhaustively investigated.


Seventy-five comparative trials were ultimately included for analyses. Regarding global efficacy, piroxicam was more effective than naproxen [OR=1.37 (1.05; 1.77)] and nabumetone [OR=1.72 (1.26; 2.34)], while equivalent to other NSAIDS [OR=1.06 (0.96; 1.18)]. For pain and articular swelling, piroxicam was statistically equivalent to all other NSAIDs. For mobility, piroxicam appeared to be more effective than indomethacin, while equivalent to all other NSAIDs. Piroxicam was globally safer than other NSAIDs OR=0.83 [0.73; 0.96], notably indomethacin [OR=0.53 (0.43; 0.64], naproxen [OR=0.75 (0.65; 0.85)] and salicylates [OR=0.36 (0.17; 0.75)]. From a global GI safety point of view, piroxicam was better tolerated than indomethacin [OR=0.46 (0.36; 0.58)], naproxen [OR=0.66 (0.53; 0.83)] and salicylates [OR=0.45 (0.27; 0.78)] while less tolerated when compared to meloxicam [OR=1.49 (1.05; 2.13)]. Major GI effects were comparable among piroxicam users as in comparator drugs users [OR=1.33 (0.96; 1.84)], except for meloxicam [OR=2.37 (1.13; 4.97)]. The skin safety of piroxicam was statistically comparable to those of comparators [OR=1.01 (0.68; 1.51)].


This meta-analysis of RCTs support a similar to more favourable efficacy/safety profile of piroxicam as compared to other t-NSAIDs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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