What is the role of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and undifferentiated spondyloarthropathy (USpA)?

Updated: Feb 02, 2021
  • Author: Lawrence H Brent, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) improve the symptoms of the disease by reducing pain and decreasing inflammation. Numerous choices are available, and they are separated into different families of agents. [107] If one NSAID is ineffective, another from a different family may provide relief.

Efficacy and adverse effect profiles differ among agents and families. Indomethacin may be more effective than other NSAIDs, although this potential advantage has not been proved. Salicylates seldom give adequate relief. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors appear to be as effective as nonselective NSAIDs. [108]

Sieper et al, in a randomized, double-blind, controlled study comparing two dosages of celecoxib (200 mg once daily and 200 mg twice daily) to diclofenac (75 mg twice daily), noted that both dosages of celecoxib were comparable to the diclofenac dosage with respect to global pain intensity. [109] However, with respect to changes in disease activity, functional and mobility capacities, and adverse events, once-daily celecoxib was not as effective in reducing certain inflammation-associated parameters as twice-daily celecoxib and diclofenac were.

Give NSAIDs in full anti-inflammatory doses. Continuous treatment with NSAIDs appears to reduce radiographic progression in AS. [108] Common toxicities involve the gastrointestinal (GI) tract (nausea, dyspepsia, ulceration, bleeding), the kidneys, and the central nervous system (CNS).

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