What are COX-2 inhibitors?

Christopher Chiodo, MD
Orthopedic Surgery
A type of prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) known as a COX-2 inhibitor, such as celecoxib (Celebrex), relieves pain and inflammation and may reduce the risk for gastric ulcers and bleeding, which sometimes make older NSAIDs difficult to tolerate. COX-2 inhibitors have their own side effects, though, so discuss your personal health risks with your doctor when considering the long-term use of these medications.
COX-2 inhibitors are medications used for headaches and muscle pain.  COX-2 inhibitors are similar to NSAIDs in that they reduce inflammation.  Reducing inflammation leads to pain relief for muscle pains or headaches.  For many people, COX-2 inhibitors don’t cause as much stomach upset as NSAIDs, so they are better tolerated.  However, both COX-2 inhibitors and NSAIDs have cardiovascular risks even in people with no history of cardiac disease.

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