EAST HANOVER, N.J., June 15, 2007 /PRNewswire/ -- Patients with osteoarthritis who also have controlled hypertension experienced a slight decrease in average daily blood pressure when treated with the investigational selective COX-2 inhibitor lumiracoxib compared to a slight increase in those taking ibuprofen, a commonly-used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
These new results, presented today at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR) in Barcelona, are important because around 40% of patients with osteoarthritis also have high blood pressure (or hypertension).
While this study did not assess long-term cardiovascular outcomes, independent research shows that even small elevations in blood pressure can contribute to an increased risk of cardiovascular events. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis affecting 21 million Americans.
"NSAIDs, including some COX-2s, have been associated with raised blood pressure, and this effect may be in part responsible for the increased risk of cardiovascular disease associated with this class of medications," said Tom MacDonald, Ph.D., Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at the Hypertension Research Centre at Ninewells Hospital & Medical School in Dundee, Scotland. "These data indicate that lumiracoxib may have less impact on blood pressure than the most commonly used NSAID ibuprofen."
In the US, lumiracoxib 100 mg once-daily is under review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for relief of the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis.
"Evidence from the large-scale TARGET study has shown that
lumiracoxib is associated with significantly smaller increases in
blood pressure than commonly used NSAIDs," said James Shannon, MD,
Global Head of Development at Nov