(HealthDay News) — Certain cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 inhibitors, including celecoxib (Celebrex) and etodolac (Lodine), are associated with increased mortality within a month after a stroke, according to a study published online November 5 in Neurology.

Morten Schmidt, MD, of the Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues analyzed data for 100,043 people hospitalized for a first stroke between 2004–2012. The authors sought to examine the association between nonaspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and 30-day stroke mortality.

The researchers found that use of celecoxib prior to hospitalization for ischemic stroke was associated with a 19% increase in risk of death within a month, compared with non-use of the drug. The older drugs – for example, etodolac – raised the risk of dying from stroke by 53%. Other types of NSAIDs – including ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve) – weren’t linked to an increased risk of death after stroke.

“Much of this result came from new users of the drugs, who were 42% more likely to die from stroke than those who were not taking the drugs. The results were also stronger for those taking the older COX-2 inhibitors,” Schmidt told HealthDay. “There are several cardiovascular risks to consider when prescribing NSAIDs, in particular COX-2 inhibitors,” he said. “Efforts should be made to ensure people with a higher risk of stroke are not prescribed these medications when other options are available.”

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