|Selected research from leading health care experts whose findings have a direct bearing on public policies effecting medical progress. Research is chosen based on its quality and relevance by the Medical Progress Today editorial staff.||
Heart Attack Risks, Pain Relief Similar for Most Osteoarthritis Drugs
As we noted earlier, the discovery of risks associated with new drugs can actually help uncover unsuspected risks of similar treatments that doctors have prescribed for decades, simply because we now have the technology and infrastructure to analyze larger population groups for more subtle safety signals. This study, from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, compares drugs in the same class as Vioxx (COX–2 inhibitors) with traditional painkillers (called NSAIDS), and finds that they have similar risks and benefits.
Two classes of drugs commonly used to treat osteoarthritis–non–steroidal anti–inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and COX–2 inhibitors (a newer generation of NSAIDs)—present similar, increased risks of heart attacks while offering about the same level of pain relief, according to a new report by the Department of Health & Human Services' (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
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