A new class of drugs, the selective cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors, or coxibs, have recently been marketed as an alternative to conventional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on the basis of a lower risk of gastrointestinal side effects. The recent withdrawal of rofecoxib, along with safety concerns about other COX-2 selective inhibitors raises important questions about the cardiovascular toxicity of these drugs. Recently some concerns arose even for a possible cardiotoxicity of nonselective nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. From data available so far, it seems that coxibs still remain a rational choice for patients with low cardiovascular risk and high gastrointestinal risk. Long-term studies with a cardiovascular endpoint involving both selective and nonselective anti-inflammatory drugs are warranted.
- Myocardial infarction
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
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