COX-2 inhibitor

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Any one of a group of anti-inflammatory drugs (see nsaid) that selectively block the action of the enzyme cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX-2), which mediates the production of prostaglandin at sites of inflammation, especially in joints; they are less likely to inhibit COX-1, which controls the production of prostaglandin in the stomach (where it is involved in the production of protective mucus), and therefore less likely than nonselective NSAIDs to cause peptic bleeding or ulceration. COX-2 inhibitors are used in the treatment of arthritis, acute gout, and moderate or severe pain. They include celecoxib and etoricoxib (Arcoxia). However, because their use is associated with an increased incidence of heart attack and stroke, COX-2 inhibitors should be taken only by those who are not at risk of developing these conditions and who have a high risk of developing peptic ulceration. Other side-effects include fluid retention (oedema), intestinal upset, dizziness, insomnia, and sore throat.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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