What is the safest anti-inflammatory drug? Is there one? Next
Celebrex Safety Data Surprises Heart Experts
But today, Dr. Steven Nissen, chairman of the department of cardiovascular medicine at Cleveland Clinic’s Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute and colleagues reported findings of a major 10-year study which found no such problems with Celebrex, offering reassurance to millions of patients and potentially changing the way doctors approach treating arthritis pain.
For the study involving 24,081 heart patients and people at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, the researchers compared celecoxib with the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs Naproxyn and Ibuprofen and found celecoxib no more dangerous to the heart than the two NSAIDs, which have been prescribed for decades. Celebrex was even safer when it came to certain side effects, like serious gastrointestinal problems.
Nissen said it’s important for the public to understand that the researchers weren’t studying the occasional use of these drugs — instead they focused on patients with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis who take the drugs every day to control pain.
Nissen said it was “very striking” that when it came to side effects, there was about a 50 percent lower risk of having a serious gastrointestinal complication from Celebrex compared to ibuprofen or naproxen.
“Celebrex, unlike the other agents, does not have anti-platelet effects so is safer to combine with other blood thinners and can be taken peri-operatively — and even before the operation without increasing bleeding — to reduce post-operative pain, and also does not block the potent anti-platelet effects of aspirin.
Not all the news about non-steroidal drugs is bad. In fact, this next item might surprise you…
Decreased Risk of Dementia With Prolonged NSAID Exposure in RA
Lauren Grygotis writing in Neurology Advisor reported a longer period of treatment with non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) was associated with a decreased risk of dementia among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in a large population-based cohort, according to recent findings published in Medicine.
Previous studies have suggested that early inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and depression are associated with increased risk of dementia. The authors of the study noted that NSAIDs are “commonly used for treating RA, and several studies suggest that NSAIDs reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia in patients with RA.”
How dangerous are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs?
FDA revises heart attack and stroke warnings on NSAIDS
The FDA recently revised their warnings on anti-inflammatory drugs. They stated the risk of heart attack or stroke may occur as early as the first weeks of using an NSAID. And the risk may increase with lionger use and higher doses of NSAID. The risk is higher with patients with risk factors but may occur inpatients without risk factors. NSAID use increases the risk of heart failure.
Pam Harrison writing in MedPage Today reported that a Swiss study published in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases showed prolonged use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) has no negative effect on renal function in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) except among patients who have advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) on initiation of treatment
Comment: For years we’ve worried about the effects of NSAIDS on kidney function. It appears that if kidney function is normal, it’s not as big a deal as we once thought.