Arthritis drugs may help the heart

Anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat arthritis may also benefit people with heart disease by improving blood vessel flexibility and reducing inflammation, according to a small study in today’s rapid track report from Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. “Increasing evidence indicates that atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease,” says senior author Frank Ruschitzka, M.D., of the department of cardiology at University Hospital in Z?rich, Switzerland. “Thus, anti-inflammatory agents used to treat arthritis, such as COX-2 inhibitors, may not only reduce inflammation in the joints, but could possibly have that same anti-inflammatory benefit in the vessel wall. This study is the first to show that relationship.”

COX-2 Inhibitors Interfere with Bone Growth, Healing

Researchers have found that selective COX-2 inhibitors ? a class of medications widely prescribed for painful inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis – interfere with the healing process after a bone fracture or cementless joint implant surgery. Their findings suggest that patients who regularly take COX-2 inhibitors should switch to a different medication, such as acetaminophen or codeine derivatives, following a bone fracture or cementless implant.