Tuesday, December 06, 2005

COX 2 inhibitors may not be safer for the stomach

British scientists last week they had found no evidence that prescription painkillers such as Celebrex, Vioxx and Bextra protected against stomach bleeding any better than older drugs.

Julia Hippisley-Cox had found no proof that these painkillers, known as COX-2 inhibitors, were less likely to cause gastrointestinal bleeding than aspirin or other treatments called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).

In the four-year observational study, Hippisley-Cox and her team studied more than 9,000 patients in Britain who had been diagnosed with a stomach ulcer or bleeding and compared each case with up to 10 control patients.

Forty-five percent of the patients with a stomach ailment had been prescribed an NSAIDS in the previous three years and 10 percent had taken a COX-2 inhibitor. This compared with 33 percent and 6 percent in the control group.

The researchers said the risk of a stomach problem associated with using NSAIDS was lower in patients who were also taking drugs to heal ulcers.

You can find the article here.

(from varioud sources including yahoo, brit pages).