Arthritis :: Better solution for arthritis sufferers

California researchers say arthritis sufferers at high risk for gastrointestinal problems are best served by a common painkiller with an acid-reducing drug.

A team from the University of California at Los Angeles and Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, in a study to be published in Friday’s edition of the journal Arthritis Care and Research, used an economic model to develop patient scenarios and compare costs of three therapies often used for treating pain from chronic arthritis.

Those therapies are: a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug alone, such as naproxen or ibuprofen; a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug combined with an acid-reducing drug (proton pump inhibitor) such as Prevacid or Nexium; and a Cox-2 inhibitor (cyclooxygenase 2-selective inhibitor) alone, such as Vioxx or Celebrex.

“We found that for high-risk patients, the combination of a common anti-inflammatory drug taken with an acid-lowering drug was not only less expensive, but also safer and more effective,” said one researchers.

The study was funded by the maker of Prevacid.

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