A cross-sectional retrospective assessment of anti-arthritic drugs in patients with arthritis in Korea.Curr Med Res Opin. 2003; 19(7):597-602.CM
Selective cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors were recently introduced for the treatment of arthritis because of their lower rates of gastrointestinal adverse events compared with traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
To examine the medication usage patterns for both osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in Korea.
The medical charts of a convenience sample of 402 patients with OA or RA were reviewed by the Arthritis Study Group in 14 hospitals and ten clinics in Korea.
Traditional oral NSAIDs were the most commonly prescribed drugs for OA (68.3%) and RA (65.1%) patients. Two-thirds (66.7%) of the RA patients taking COX-2 inhibitors were prescribed other arthritis medications concurrently and 85.1% of RA patients taking NSAIDs were prescribed other arthritis medications concurrently. Patients on NSAIDs were almost twice as likely to have a gastroprotective agent (GPA) concurrently compared to COX-2 inhibitor users (OA patients 38.1% vs 21.2%; RA patients 57.9% vs 30.6%). Overall, patients taking COX-2 inhibitors were less likely to take GPAs concurrently compared to patients not taking COX-2 inhibitors (unadjusted OR 0.36; adjusted OR 0.39).
Traditional oral NSAIDs were commonly prescribed to arthritis patients in Korea. In this study, patients taking COX-2 inhibitors were prescribed less adjunctive arthritis treatments and less gastroprotective agents than traditional oral NSAID users.