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Clinical pharmacology of celecoxib, a COX-2 selective inhibitor.

Antoniou K, Malamas M, Drosos AA

University of Ioannina, Department of Pharmacology, Medical school, Ioannina, Greece.

NSAIDs are extensively used worldwide; nonetheless, they are associated with adverse gastrointestinal (GI) effects. COX-2 inhibitors (coxibs) have been developed to reduce pain and inflammation without associated GI and bleeding risks. Celecoxib was the first COX-2 inhibitor introduced on the market, and it still remains so, whereas rofecoxib and valdecoxib were withdrawn due to excess cardiovascular (CV) risk. There is consequently a concern that CV toxicity reflects a class effect of all COX-2 inhibitors. Celecoxib possesses anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, and the evidence for CV risk is rather small and comparable to that of other traditional NSAIDs in short-term treatments (of < 4 weeks). It could be suggested that the use of low doses of celecoxib (100 mg b.i.d.) in short-treatment, especially in patients with previous experience of GI events and the recommendation of avoiding use of celecoxib in patients with CV history or risk, contribute in the decision-making process of prescribing COX-2 or NSAIDs.

Published 9 August 2007 in Expert Opin Pharmacother, 8(11): 1719-32.
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