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Cox-2s in spotlight again on gastrointestinal safety

Use of cox-2 inhibitors has come under new scrutiny after a major study of UK general practice questioned their gastrointestinal safety.

The research, published in the BMJ this week, found 'no consistent evidence' that cox-2s were associated with fewer GI events than conventional NSAIDs.

The case-control study of patients from 367 practices also showed those taking cox-2s benefited from use of ulcer-healing drugs.

Study leader Professor Julia Hippisley-Cox, professor of clinical epidemiology and general practice at the University of Nottingham, said evidence of improved GI safety with cox-2s was lacking.

'That ulcer healing drugs were associated with a reduction in risk of adverse events for cox-2s as a whole suggests there is some risk to protect against and that these drugs may not be as safe as originally thought.'

The researchers matched 9,407 patients over the age of 25 with a first-ever diagnosis of an adverse upper GI event with 88,867 controls.

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