Results from two clinical trials, to be published in the April 2006 edition of the American Journal of Gastroenterology, indicate that esomeprazole magnesium can reduce the incidence of gastric (stomach) ulcers in patients at risk of developing gastric ulcers and who regularly take either non-selective nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or COX-2-selective NSAIDs.
NSAIDs are a class of pain relief medications that include traditional, non-selective drugs, such as ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin, and newer COX-2-selective agents. Nonselective NSAIDs are known for increasing the risk of gastric ulcers, particularly among older patients who take them regularly or who have a history of gastric ulcers.
Pooled data from the double-blind, randomized, six-month trials showed that significantly fewer patients taking either NEXIUM 20 mg or NEXIUM 40 mg, in addition to their regular non-selective NSAID/selective-COX-2 therapy, developed an ulcer at six months, compared to those taking a placebo (5.2 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively, vs. 17 percent, p<0.001). These differences were seen as early as the first month of treatment and maintained throughout the study duration.
“Paradoxically, NSAID use is common among patients at high risk for gastric ulcers or other complications associated with these medications. Although COX-2-selective drugs generally cause fewer gastric ulcers than non-selective NSAIDs, these events aren’t completely eliminated, and the residual side-effect rate still may be high,” said James M. Scheiman, MD, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine,University of Michigan. “Data from the two trials showed that NEXIUM was effective in reducing stomach ulcers in at-risk patients who require chronic NSAID treatment.”