So the drug manufacturers went back to the shareholders, sorry, drawing board, and came up with a new family of painkillers known as the COX-2s. But researchers eventually realised that COX-2s such as Bextra and Celebrex increased the risk of heart problems - just as much as an NSAID.
And now researchers have discovered that the COX-2s also cause gastrointestinal bleeding - just as much as an NSAID.
This latest discovery comes after monitoring the progress of 34,701 arthritis sufferers who were given either an NSAID or a COX-2 for 18 months.
The researchers hope their discoveries will help doctors develop better treatment guidelines for arthritis. Such as not giving the patient an NSAID or a COX-2?
(Source: The Lancet, published online 13 November 2006).
E-news broadcast 16 November 2006 No.310 [Subscribe]