Prevent Osteoarthritis Flares With Continuous Use of Celecoxib

January 14, 2012
RheumatologyNetwork Staff

For patients who have osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee or hip, continuous treatment with celecoxib, 200 mg/d, is significantly more effective in preventing disease flares than intermittent treatment.

For patients who have osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee or hip, continuous treatment with celecoxib, 200 mg/d, is significantly more effective in preventing disease flares than intermittent treatment. There is no increase in overall adverse events, including GI disorders and hypertension.

Strand and colleagues conducted a double-blind, randomized, multicenter study of 858 patients (aged 18 to 80 years) with symptomatic OA of the knee or hip to compare the effectiveness and safety of continuous versus intermittent treatment with celecoxib. The study consisted of the following 3 periods: (1) screening and washout; (2) the visit when an OA flare was documented, with an open-label run-in with celecoxib; and (3) 22 weeks of blinded treatment, with evaluation of efficacy. The primary end point was the number of flares per time of exposure in period 3 (mean number of flares per month).

The patients who received continuous treatment reported 42% fewer OA flares per month (or 2.0 fewer OA flares) over 22 weeks than intermittent users. Continuous treatment also resulted in statistical and clinically meaningful benefits in secondary outcomes.

The authors noted that the continuous-use group not only reported fewer flares but also appeared to experience better preservation of physical function.

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