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Surprising Study Result: Arthritis Drug Does Not Affect the Heart

Arthritis PrescriptionsFor a decade, researchers have been concerned about how the arthritis drug celecoxib would affect the heart compared to two other drugs that are commonly prescribed for the condition. A new study shows that these concerns were unwarranted.

The study, published online Sunday in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows that celecoxib, which is sold under the brand name Celebrex, does not confer excess cardiovascular risk compared with ibuprofen and naproxen, two non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) widely prescribed to treat arthritis.

In fact, celecoxib is associated with fewer cardiovascular adverse events than naproxen and ibuprofen, says the study, which is called the PRECISION trial. The results show that the drug also appears to cause lower rates of gastrointestinal and renal problems — and perhaps even death rates.

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