Arthritis and hypertension are common comorbid conditions affecting elderly adults. Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in patients treated with antihypertensive medication can lead to destabilization of blood pressure control and other cardiorenal events. The potential for similar interactions with cyclooxygenase-2–specific inhibitors has not been fully explored. The authors evaluated the cardiorenal safety of two new cyclooxygenase-2–specific inhibitors, celecoxib and rofecoxib.
This study was a 6-week, randomized, parallel-group, double-blind trial in patients with osteoarthritis who were ≥65 years of age and were taking antihypertensive agents. Patients received once-daily celecoxib 200 mg or rofecoxib 25 mg. The primary endpoints were the development of edema, changes in systolic blood pressure, and changes in diastolic blood pressure as measured at any time point in the study. Measurements occurred at baseline and after 1, 2, and 6 weeks of treatment.
Eight hundred ten patients received study medication (celecoxib, n = 411; rofecoxib, n = 399). Nearly twice as many rofecoxib-compared with celecoxib-treated patients experienced edema (9.5% vs. 4.9%, P = 0.014). Systolic blood pressure increased significantly in 17% of rofecoxib-compared with 11% of celecoxib-treated patients (P = 0.032) at any study time point. Diastolic blood pressure increased in 2.3% of rofecoxib-compared with 1.5% of celecoxib-treated patients (P = 0.44). At week 6, the change from baseline in mean systolic blood pressure was +2.6 mmHg for rofecoxib compared with −0.5 mmHg for celecoxib (P = 0.007).
Patients taking antihypertensive therapy and receiving cyclooxygenase-2–specific inhibitors should be monitored for the development of cardiorenal events. Patients receiving celecoxib experienced less edema and less destabilization of blood pressure control compared with those receiving rofecoxib.