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Arthritis and Stomach Ulcers?

Study Finds Celebrex No Safer Than NSAIDs in Preventing Recurring Bleeding

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Because of the high rate of peptic ulcers associated with NSAID use, arthritis patients were often left with a dilemma: Manage the arthritis pain and risk serious stomach complications or manage the ulcer and live with the pain. Then along came Celebrex -- and months later, Vioxx, which promised freedom from both problems.

But the new study found that "rates of recurrent ulcer bleeding were substantial" in both the 144 participants who took Celebrex and the 143 who received diclofenac (sold as Voltaren or Cataflam) plus Prilosec, which previous studies indicate helps protect against these ulcers. All 287 study participants had tested negative for H. pylori infection.

"The prediction has been that COX-2 inhibitors would not be associated with this recurrence," Graham tells WebMD. "But now, it's clear that we need to do more to find out what we can do for these high-risk patients. The question is, what?"

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