NSAIDs are used frequently by millions of individuals for treatment of pain, fever and swelling caused by inflammatory conditions as well as for pain alone. NSAIDs work by blocking the production of prostaglandins, chemical messengers that often are responsible for the pain and swelling of inflammatory conditions.
Prostaglandins are made by two different enzymes, cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). The prostaglandins made by the two different enzymes have slightly different effects on the body. COX-2 inhibitors are NSAIDs that selectively block the COX-2 enzyme and not the COX-1 enzyme. Blocking this enzyme impedes the production of prostaglandins by the COX-2 which is more often the cause the pain and swelling of inflammation and other painful conditions. Because they selectively block the COX-2 enzyme and not the COX-1 enzyme, these drugs are uniquely different from traditional NSAIDs which usually block both COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes.
COX-2 inhibitors are used for treating:
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
- Menstrual cramps (primary dysmenorrhea)
- Acute pain (for example, sports injuries)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
What is the basic difference between traditional NSAIDs and COX-2 inhibitors?
Quick GuideRheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Pictures Slideshow
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