From Our Archives
New Arthritis Drug - Celebrex
Celebrex is a new medication for the treatment of the
inflammation and pain of the two most common forms of
arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Celebrex is classified as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
drug (NSAID), however, it is unique in its biologic action compared
to previously available drugs of this class.
This article will describe the action of nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs and some of the unique properties
of Celebrex. It will then conclude with an in-depth
interview of the chief scientist involved in the
development and testing of Celebrex.
What are NSAIDs?
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are
commonly prescribed medications for the inflammation of
arthritis and other body tissues, such as in tendonitis and
bursitis. Examples of NSAIDs include Aspirin, indomethacin (Indocin), ibuprofen
(Motrin), naproxen (Naprosyn),
piroxicam (Feldene), and nabumetone (Relafen). The major
side effects of NSAIDs are related to the gastrointestinal
system. Some 10%-50% of patients are unable to tolerate
NSAID treatment because of side effects, including
abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating, heartburn, and upset
stomach (dyspepsia). Approximately 15% of patients on long-
term NSAID treatment develop ulceration of the stomach and
duodenum. Even though many of these patients with ulcers do
not have symptoms and are unaware of their ulcers, they are
at risk of developing serious ulcer complications such as
bleeding or perforation of the stomach.