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Rofecoxib and Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Clinical and Pathologic Observations

Wilcox, Gilbert M MD*; Mattia, Anthony R MD

Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: February 2005 - Volume 39 - Issue 2 - p 142-143
doi: 10.1097/01.mcg.0000150243.72499.6b
Alimentary Tract: Case Report

Objectives: To describe clinical and pathologic findings in patients noted to develop lower gastrointestinal symptoms when exposed to rofecoxib.

Methods: Case reports and associated biopsy findings.

Results: Three patients who developed symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) during rofecoxib exposure are described along with pathology findings. Two episodes were incident cases (no prior IBD); one episode was recurrent colitis or a nonincident case (flare of prior IBD). All symptoms resolved with drug withdrawal.

Conclusions: Symptoms and pathologic changes of colitis are associated with exposure to rofecoxib. Abnormalities resolve with drug withdrawal.

From the Departments of *Gastroenterology and †Pathology, Maine Medical Center, Portland, ME.

Recevied for publication April 27, 2004; accepted June 2, 2004

Reprints: Gilbert M. Wilcox, MD, Maine Gastroenterology Associates, 131 Chadwick Street, Portland, ME 04102-3214 (e-mail:

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.