Bensen WG, Fiechtner JJ, McMillen JI, Zhao WW, Yu SS, Woods EM, Hubbard RC, Isakson PC, Verburg KM, Geis GS
To compare the efficacy and safety of celecoxib, a cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor, with those of naproxen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), and placebo in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee.
In this multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 1003 patients with symptomatic osteoarthritis of the knee were randomly assigned to receive celecoxib at doses of 50, 100, or 200 mg twice a day; naproxen, 500 mg twice a day; or placebo for 12 weeks. Patients were evaluated with standard measures of efficacy 2 to 7 days after discontinuing previous NSAID or analgesic therapy and after 2, 6, and 12 weeks of treatment with the study drug.
Celecoxib treatment led to significant improvement in the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis as determined by all efficacy measures. Significant pain relief occurred within 2 days of the initiation of treatment, and maximum anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity, evident within 2 weeks, was sustained throughout the 12-week study. All celecoxib doses were efficacious compared with placebo, although the 50-mg twice-daily dosage regimen was minimally effective. The higher doses of celecoxib (100 and 200 mg twice a day) were similarly efficacious, and the magnitude of improvement observed with these dosing regimens was comparable to that seen with naproxen at a dose of 500 mg twice a day. All doses of celecoxib and naproxen were well tolerated.
COX-2 inhibition with celecoxib is an effective approach for the treatment of osteoarthritis, as seen by clinical improvement in signs and symptoms comparable to treatment with naproxen.
St Joseph's Hospital, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.