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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 11 (2002), Issue 5, Pages 275-286

Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors: promise or peril?

Principal and Co-Founders, The Camden Group, 19 Oak Park Drive, St. Louis, 63141, MO, USA

Copyright © 2002 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The discovery of two isoforms of the cyclooxygenase enzyme, COX-1 and COX-2, and the development of COX-2-specific inhibitors as anti-inflammatories and analgesics have offered great promise that the therapeutic benefits of NSAIDs could be optimized through inhibition of COX-2, while minimizing their adverse side effect profile associated with inhibition of COX-1. While COX-2 specific inhibitors have proven to be efficacious in a variety of inflammatory conditions, exposure of large numbers of patients to these drugs in postmarketing studies have uncovered potential safety concerns that raise questions about the benefit/risk ratio of COX-2-specific NSAIDs compared to conventional NSAIDs. This article reviews the efficacy and safety profiles of COX-2-specific inhibitors, comparing them with conventional NSDAIDs.