NEW YORK, June 27 (Praxis Press) Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) inhibit both cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) but it is unclear whether specific COX-2 inhibitors are as effective as NSAIDs in the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA). Day and colleagues compared the efficacy and safety of the rofecoxib, which specifically inhibits COX-2, with that of the NSAID ibuprofen in 809 adult patients with OA (see paper. They found that rofecoxib was as effective as ibuprofen in treating the symptoms of osteoarthritis as measured by assessments of response to therapy. All treatments were well tolerated and the overall incidence rates of clinical adverse experiences were not significantly different among the treatment groups. Rofecoxib is well tolerated in osteoarthritis patient and is as effective as the NSAID ibuprofen.

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