A study from Merck Laboratories has shown cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor etoricoxib (Arcoxia) to be as effective asibuprofen for treating pain associated with arthritis. The 12-weekstudy included 528 patients being treated for arthritis of the hipand knee and compared Arcoxia with ibuprofen and placebo.
It took about 2 weeks for Arcoxia and ibuprofen to achievemaximum effectiveness, with symptom control lasting for another10 weeks. Both drugs performed better than placebo and generallywere well tolerated. Arcoxia is a new COX-2 inhibitor and,as such, has been scrutinized by the FDA along with Vioxx andother members of that class of drugs for a possible link to heartattack and stroke.