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New Studies: COX-2 Inhibitors and NSAIDs

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Publication of a new study in medicine is nothing new. But one of the recent studies published in a medical journal which is being publicized in the popular press highlights that it is important not only for pharmacists and doctors to stay on top of new research in medicine, but it is critical for patients to take care to inform doctors and pharmacists of medicines they may be taking.

The new study, reported in the June 19 Rapid Access issue of the medical journal Circulation, shows a statistically significant link between use of selective cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors in normal dosages and nonselective nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in high dosages and increased death in patients who have had a heart attack. This study demonstrates that both COX-2 inhibitors and nonselective NSAIDs can increase the risk of death after a heart attack in a dose-dependent fashion. These agents were also associated with an increased risk for recurrent heart attacks.

Some NSAIDs are available over the counter. Both COX-2 inhibitors and NSAIDs are dispensed for a number of reasons. As a result, it is important that patients consult with their doctors and pharmacists about all of the medications they are taking in order to avoid creating increased risk for their health.