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New Drug Found To Benefit Patients With Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease and one of the oldest and most common types of arthritis. It happens when the joint’s cartilage breaks down and the bones rub against each other causing pain and loss of movement.//

An international, multi-center study shows an effective treatment for osteoarthritis is the COX2 inhibitor lumiracoxib, also known as Prexige. The drug was found to reduces gastric complications that often occur with other treatments.

It is common for doctors to prescribe non-selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain in patients with osteoarthritis . However, the side effects of these drugs can cause gastrointestinal ulcer complications that can be fatal. A recent study evaluated gastrointestinal and cardiovascular safety of the COX2 inhibitor lumiracoxib compared to the NSAIDs naproxen, commonly known as Aleve, and ibuprofen.

The study included 18,325 osteoarthritis patients who were randomized to receive lumiracoxib, naproxen or ibuprofen for one year. Results show the risk of ulcer complications was reduced among patients on lumiracoxib compared to patients on naproxen. However, this benefit did not apply for patients who were also taking aspirin. Researchers also found lumiracoxib showed a three- to four-fold reduction in ulcer complication compared to naproxen without an increase risk of a cardiovascular problem.

Thus researchers say their findings show that lumiracoxib is an appropriate treatment for patients with osteoarthritis.
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