Objective: Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are common in patients taking nonselective, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (nsNSAIDs) and are often a reason for therapy discontinuation. In osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients requiring pain control, selective COX-2 NSAID use is typically associated with less dyspepsia than is nsNSAID use. Little is known about NSAID tolerance in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This study assessed nsNSAID and celecoxib prescription patterns, in particular persistence, in OA/RA patients with concomitant diagnosis of GERD. Methods: An observational study of GERD patients with a diagnosis of OA/RA using two separate databases, the IMS Lifelink Health Plan Claims Database (PharMetrics) and Market Scan Claims Database (Medstat) was conducted. In each database, parallel and separate analyses were performed in adult patients who had their first GERD diagnosis in 2006 and who were subsequently diagnosed with OA or RA in the same year. From this subset of patients, celecoxib-nave and nsNSAID-nave cohorts were identified and patients were selected. Patients with pre-existing GI conditions were excluded from the study. Persistence, measured as time to discontinuation, was evaluated by KaplanMeier survival curves and Cox proportional hazards models. Reasons for discontinuations were not available in these databases. Results: Fewer patients discontinued celecoxib as compared to nsNSAIDs during the 60 days of the first prescription and throughout the entire follow-up period. After adjusting for baseline characteristics, celecoxib patients still had significantly decreased risk of discontinuation as compared to nsNSAID patients (p<0.0001). Replication of these observations in two separate, large patient databases increases the confidence in this study's conclusion. Limitations: Limitations include those inherent to claims data analyses and retrospective review, e.g. these data do not provide clinical information related to reasons for medication discontinuation. Conclusion: In patients with concomitant GERD and OA or RA who require anti-inflammatory treatment, significantly more patients treated with celecoxib were persistent with their treatment than were patients treated with nsNSAIDs.
- Rheumatoid arthritis
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