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Keywords:

  • anti-inflammatory agents;
  • cyclooxygenase 2;
  • cyclooxygenase inhibitors;
  • emergency medicine;
  • non-steroidal

Abstract

Cyclooxygenase-2 selective inhibitors (COXIB or CSI) have been released with a fanfare as efficacious and safer alternatives to traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. They purport to offer equivalent degrees of analgesia and an improved safety profile. COXIB currently available in Australasia are celecoxib (Celebrex), rofecoxib (Vioxx) and etoricoxib (Arcoxia). This review discusses the pharmacology of these agents and reviews recent literature regarding their effectiveness and safety. It endeavours to answer the question ‘Should we be using COXIB in emergency departments in Australasia’?