Rubin BR. Specific cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors. J Am Osteopath Assoc 1999;99(6):322–325. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.19126.96.36.1992.
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Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are currently among the most widely prescribed drugs worldwide. Their therapeutic benefits and their side effects in the gastrointestinal tract and kidney, as well as in hemostasis, are of great importance in modem medicine. Within the past decade, new insights into how NSAIDs produce both their therapeutic benefits and their serious side effects have been discovered. It is now known that there are two forms of the cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme that metabolize arachidonic acid into protstagladins. Drugs that specifically inhibit the COX-2 enzyme were formulated and put into clinical trials during the past 5 years. These drugs are now available to treat patients in the United States. Specific COX-2 inhibitors offer the benefit of being able to treat the pain and inflammation of arthritis with potentially little risk of serious gastrointestinal injury.
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