Certain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (e.g., rofecoxib [Vioxx]) increase the risk of heart attack and stroke and should be avoided in patients at high risk of cardiovascular events. Rates of cardiovascular disease are high and rising in many low- and middle-income countries. We studied the extent to which evidence on cardiovascular risk with NSAIDs has translated into guidance and sales in 15 countries.
Introduction: The increased thrombotic cardiovascular (CV) risk in trials of cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors versus placebo, and the apparent similar risk with nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), may be related to their potential to elevate blood pressure (BP). Aims: We evaluated the relationship between baseline BP and change in BP on CV events (CVEs) in patients receiving NSAIDs or COX-2 inhibitors in the prospective randomized, double-blind, Multinational Etoricoxib and Diclofenac Arthritis Long-term Program (N = 34,701) comparing etoricoxib 60 or 90 mg or diclofenac 150 mg daily for a mean duration of 18 months. The main outcome measure was confirmed thrombotic CVEs. The Antiplatelet Trialists' Collaboration endpoint, all-cause mortality, CV/congestive heart failure (CHF) mortality, and CHF incidence were similarly evaluated. Results: We found that baseline systolic BP (SBP) was associated with significantly higher risk of all events (P < 0.001). Baseline diastolic BP (DBP) was inversely and significantly associated with risk of all events (P < 0.001 to P= 0.016) except CV/CHF mortality (P= 0.054). There was no significant differential effect between etoricoxib and diclofenac in relation to CVEs, except for confirmed CHF, for which the risk was significantly higher with etoricoxib (P= 0.019). Only CHF risk (P= 0.020 for both SBP and DBP change), but not thrombotic endpoints, was significantly associated with change in BP from months 0 to 4. These findings were not meaningfully altered after covariate adjustment for baseline CV risk. Conclusions: Baseline BP, but not change in BP, was significantly associated with risk of thrombotic CVEs through 18 months. The CV risk of COX-2s and NSAIDs did not appear to be related to the BP-elevating effects of these agents, although such analyses, i.e., from randomized controlled trials, are unable to definitively exclude such a relationship.
Objective: Safety data regarding the usage of etoricoxib and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and other spondyloarthritis (SpA) patients are rather limited. To estimate and compare rates of gastrointestinal, renovascular, and cardiovascular adverse events in patients exposed to etoricoxib, celecoxib, non-selective NSAIDs (nsNSAIDs) or totally unexposed to NSAIDs. Methods: This is a national register-based cohort study on patients with AS or SpA (N=21,872) identified in the Swedish national patient register (NPR) 1987 - 2009. Treatment exposure was assessed time-dependently based on the prescription drugs register from 2006 - 2009 adjusting for socio-demography, and comorbidities derived from national population-based registers. Results: Exposure to etoricoxib, celecoxib and nsNSAID were 7.6%, 3.9% and 71.2%, respectively. No major risk differences for serious cardiovascular, gastrointestinal or renal adverse events were seen among the three exposure groups. Patients unexposed to NSAIDs had more baseline co-morbidities and an increased relative risk for congestive heart failure events during the study period 2.0 (95% 1.3 to 3.2). The relative risk for atherosclerotic events was non-significant when compared to the nsNSAID group 1.0 (95% CI: 0.7 to 1.5), while the risk for gastrointestinal events was lower for unexposed patients 0.5 (0.4 to 0.7). Conclusion: Overall, serious adverse events related to nsNSAID, etoricoxib and celecoxib were similar and in the range of what would be expected in a group of SpA patients. Patients unexposed to NSAIDs had considerable more baseline co-morbidities and increased risk for congestive heart failure, reflecting a selection of patients being prescribed NSAID in clinical practice. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
The initial treatment of plantar fasciitis should be conservative, with most cases responding to standard physiotherapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), heel pads, and stretching. In cases of chronic refractory symptoms, more invasive treatment could be necessary. Noninvasive interactive neurostimulation (NIN) is a form of electric therapy that works by locating areas of lower skin impedance. The objective of the present prospective randomized controlled study was to evaluate whether the use of NIN for chronic plantar fasciitis could result in greater improvement in a foot functional score, lower levels of reported pain, reduced patient consumption of NSAIDs, and greater patient satisfaction compared with electric shockwave therapy in patients without a response to standard conservative treatment. The patients were randomized using random blocks to the NIN program (group 1) or electric shockwave therapy (group 2). The outcome measurements were the pain subscale of the validated Foot Function Index (PS-FFI), patient-reported subjective assessment of the level of pain using a standard visual analog scale, and daily intake of NSAID tablets (etoricoxib 60 mg). The study group was evaluated at baseline (time 0), week 4 (time 1), and week 12 (final follow-up point). Group 1 (55 patients) experienced significantly better results compared with group 2 (49 patients) in term of the PS-FFI score, visual analog scale score, and daily intake of etoricoxib 60 mg. NIN was an effective treatment of chronic resistant plantar fasciitis, with full patient satisfaction in >90% of cases. The present prospective randomized controlled study showed superior results for noninvasive neurostimulation compared with electric shockwave therapy, in terms of the functional score, pain improvement, and use of NSAIDs.
The Vioxx Gastrointestinal Outcomes Research (VIGOR) trial, published in 2000, was the first to raise concerns that NSAIDs (specifically, the COX-2 selective inhibitor rofecoxib) might be associated with a higher risk for cardiovascular (CV) events. As discussed in this article, subsequent trials and meta-analyses have demonstrated a higher CV risk with use of not only COX-2 inhibitors (coxibs) but also certain tNSAIDs. These investigations have contributed to actions by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), most recently in July 2015, requiring strengthening of CV risk warnings on labels for all prescription and over-the-counter NSAIDs, despite evidence suggesting that differences in CV risk may exist among the NSAIDs.
We construct a framework for meta-analysis and other multi-level data structures that codifies the sources of heterogeneity between studies or settings in treatment effects and examines their implications for analyses. The key idea is to consider, for each of the treatments under investigation, the subject’s potential outcome in each study or setting were he to receive that treatment. We consider four sources of heterogeneity: (1) response inconsistency, whereby a subject’s response to a given treatment would vary across different studies or settings, (2) the grouping of nonequivalent treatments, where two or more treatments are grouped and treated as a single treatment under the incorrect assumption that a subject’s responses to the different treatments would be identical, (3) nonignorable treatment assignment, and (4) response-related variability in the composition of subjects in different studies or settings. We then examine how these sources affect heterogeneity/homogeneity of conditional and unconditional treatment effects. To illustrate the utility of our approach, we re-analyze individual participant data from 29 randomized placebo-controlled studies on the cardiovascular risk of Vioxx, a Cox-2 selective nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug approved by the FDA in 1999 for the management of pain and withdrawn from the market in 2004.
Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors have been found to be safe alternatives in adults with cross-intolerant hypersensitivity to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). However they are usually not prescribed in children and there is little information about their tolerance in the pediatric age group.