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Digestion. 2011;83(1-2):108-23. doi: 10.1159/000318746. Epub 2010 Nov 1.

Efficacy and safety of the selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor celecoxib in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis in Japan.

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Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Nippon Medical School, Bunkyoku, Tokyo, Japan.



Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders are common adverse reactions of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Loxoprofen is a representative NSAID widely used in East Asia. A selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor, celecoxib, was introduced in Japan in 2007. In this study, we aimed to compare the efficacy and safety of celecoxib with those of loxoprofen in Japanese patients.


We analyzed the data from 12 clinical studies conducted in Japan. These data of Japanese patients were compared with those of the patients in the West that had been published after 2000.


The efficacy of celecoxib as an analgesic was comparable to that of loxoprofen, whereas serious GI events, including symptomatic ulcers, were significantly less frequent with celecoxib than with loxoprofen in Japanese patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) (p = 0.039). These results were consistent with the findings of the studies conducted in the West. The incidence of serious cardiovascular events was 0.1% in 2,398 subjects on celecoxib, which was not statistically different from the incidence in subjects on loxoprofen (0.3%; p = 0.3404) and those on placebo (0.2%); this result was also consistent with the data of the studies conducted in the West.


The analgesic activity of celecoxib, which was used for the treatment of RA, OA, and low back pain, was comparable to that of loxoprofen, and celecoxib was safer in terms of GI injury often caused by other nonselective NSAIDs.

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