n International SportMed Journal - The pharmacology of new-generation nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents : selective COX-2 inhibitors

Volume 2, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 1528-3356



Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) produce their therapeutic activities through inhibition of cyclo-oxygenase (COX), the enzyme that produces prostaglandins. Two COX isoenzymes have now been identified. COX-1 has mainly physiological functions, eg, production of protective prostaglandins, whereas COX-2 is induced by inflammatory stimuli or during tissue injury and produces prostaglandins that contribute to pain and swelling in inflammation and musculoskeletal injury. Standard nonselective NSAIDs inhibit both enzymes similarly, and thus the anti-inflammatory effects cannot be separated from the unwanted side effects, such as gastrotoxicity and renal impairment. Selective COX-2 inhibitors, however, are anti-inflammatory with reduced gastrointestinal adverse effects.

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