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Abstract: Efficacy of rofecoxib, celecoxib, and acetaminophen in osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomized trial.

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By Geba GP, Weaver AL, Polis AB, Dixon ME, Schnitzer TJ; Vioxx, Acetaminophen, Celecoxib Trial (VACT) Group. • www.ProHealth.com • January 28, 2002




Context: Osteoarthritis (OA) is often treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminophen, or specific inhibitors of cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2).

Objective: To assess the relative therapeutic efficacy of rofecoxib, celecoxib, and acetaminophen in adults with OA.

Design and Setting: Randomized, parallel-group, double-blind trial, conducted from June 1999 to February 2000, in 29 clinical centers in the United States.

Patients: Three hundred eighty-two patients aged at least 40 years who had OA of the knee that was previously treated with NSAIDs or acetaminophen.

Interventions: Patients were randomly assigned to receive rofecoxib, 12.5 mg/d (n = 96); rofecoxib, 25 mg/d (n = 95); celecoxib, 200 mg/d (n = 97); or acetaminophen, 4000 mg/d (n = 94) for 6 weeks.

Main outcome measures: Assessments over days 1 to 6 and over 6 weeks included pain on walking, night pain, pain at rest, and morning stiffness as measured on a Western Ontario McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (100-mm visual analog scale [VAS]) and global response to therapy compared among 4 treatment groups.

Results: 79% of patients completed the study. More patients treated with acetaminophen discontinued early due to lack of efficacy than patients treated with COX-2 inhibitors (31% vs 18%-19%). Efficacy assessed in the first 6 days of therapy showed greatest response to rofecoxib, 25 mg/d, followed by rofecoxib, 12.5 mg/d, celecoxib, and acetaminophen, respectively, in terms of relief of pain on walking (-32.2, - 29.0, - 26.4, and -20.6 mm change on the VAS; P
Conclusion: Rofecoxib, 25 mg/d, provided efficacy advantages over acetaminophen, 4000 mg/d, celecoxib, 200 mg/d, and rofecoxib, 12.5 mg, for symptomatic knee OA.




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