Celebrex safe for osteoarthritis

According to a study by Stanford University School of Medicine, Celebrex causes fewer gastrointestinal complications than traditional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers or NSAIDs in osteoarthritis patients and does not increase the risk of heart attacks.

Previous clinical trials have linked an increased risk of heart attacks to the use of other COX-2 inhibitors, which led to the withdrawal from the market of Vioxx and Bextra.

The results of one study also suggested that Celebrex, given in large doses (800 mg/day) over prolonged periods of time, may also increase the cardiovascular risk profile more than nonspecific NSAIDs.

This latest study, the Successive Celecoxib Efficacy and Safety Study-1 (SUCCESS-1), was conducted in 39 countries with 13,194 patients who had had osteoarthritis of the hip, knee or hand for at least 6 months.

The investigators, led by Dr. Gurkirpal Singh randomly assigned the patients to one of three groups; Celebrex (100 or 200 mg twice daily); the NSAID naproxen (500 mg twice daily); or the NSAID diclofenac (50 mg twice daily).

The treatment continued for 12 weeks.

The researchers say that all the treatments were similarly effective in the reduction of pain and a dose of 100mg of Celebrex twice daily was comparable to a 200 mg dose of Celebrex twice daily.

They also say there was no significant difference between Celebrex and NSAIDs in any cardiovascular adverse event rate, except that the rate of heart failure was higher in the NSAID group.

Singh's team recommends that doctors should consider a number of factors, including the risk for upper gastrointestinal events, duration of therapy, as well as costs, before deciding upon individual patient treatment for osteoarthritis.

The study is published in the American Journal of Medicine, March 2006.


  1. Moyna Morrison Moyna Morrison Australia says:

    I have been taking celebrex 200gm once a day for many years. I have a new Doc and he has taken me off them and put me on two ostheo panadol in the morning and two panadine at lunch and dinner. No good I ache like hell. The Celebrex was good and I seem to have had no side effects from it. Tried Mobic a few years ago nearly killed me. What do you reckon, go back to Celebrex??

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