Managing the Adverse Effects of Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs

Paola Patrignani; Stefania Tacconelli; Annalisa Bruno; Carlos Sostres; Angel Lanas


Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol. 2011;4(5):605-621. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Conventional medical treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis includes the use of NSAIDs (traditional and selective inhibitors of cyclooxygenase [COX]-2), because they provide unmistakable and significant health benefits in the treatment of pain and inflammation. However, they are associated with an increased risk of serious gastrointestinal (GI) and cardiovascular (CV) adverse events. Both beneficial and adverse effects are due to the same mechanism of action, which is inhibition of COX-dependent prostanoids. Since CV and GI risk are related to drug exposure, a reduction in the administered dose is recommended. However, this strategy will not eliminate the hazard owing to a possible contribution of individual genetic background. Further studies will be necessary to develop genetic and/or biochemical markers predictive of the CV and GI risk of NSAIDs.


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