A recently published article in The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology has demonstrated that the Cox-2 inhibitor, Celebrex, does not interfere with normal platelet function. This is very good news for patients with arthritis who take Celebrex as an anti-inflammatory medication for arthritis and also need to take drugs such as aspirin to prevent cardiovascular disease or strokes.
In the year since it was introduced, Celebrex has become the United States' most widely prescribed arthritis medication. The great benefit of Celebrex has been a reduced tendency to cause stomach ulcers and other gastrointestinal side effects.
With the other anti-inflammatory medications that have been on the market in the past, patients have always been cautioned not to take aspirin or aspirin-related medication with the anti-inflammatory medication because of the danger of bleeding. With Celebrex there is no additional danger of bleeding if one takes aspirin containing medications in addition to the Celebrex.
This is very important information because patients with arthritis often have cardiovascular disease and need to take low dose aspirin for cardiovascular disease prevention.
There is also another benefit in that Celebrex does not need to be stopped prior to surgery, because it does not inhibit platelet aggregation and, therefore, would not cause additional bleeding at surgery. Celebrex, therefore, can be given right up to the time of surgery and resumed after surgery without any concern of additional bleeding.
Most rheumatologists agree that this new class of drugs which we term Cox-2 inhibitors represents a real advance in our treatment of arthritis.