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Generic NSAID Causes Fewer Complications

Etodolac also costs less than Naproxen, researchers say

FRIDAY, Nov. 19, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- The generic nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) etodolac caused 60 percent fewer gastrointestinal ulcer complications than the over-the-counter painkiller naproxen.

That's what researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and the Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center report in a new study.

The study included more than 16,000 patients who took either etodolac or naproxen over three years. The study found that the decrease in ulcer complications with etodolac was as large or larger than decreases in earlier studies with brand-name NSAIDs such as Celebrex and Vioxx. Vioxx was recently pulled from the market by its manufacturers because of concerns over side effects such as heart attacks.

The use of etodolac instead of brand-name drugs could save the VA health system about $40 million a year, the study said.

"Since etodolac is available as generic medicine, as much as an 80 percent cost savings can be achieved if patients were to use it rather than branded medications such as Celebrex or Bextra," study author Dr. Byron Cryer, a VA physician and an associate professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern, said in a prepared statement.

"In the 13 years of etodolac's use in the United States, there have been no reports of increases in cardiovascular events associated with the drug either," Cryer said.

The study appears in the November issue of Gastroenterology.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about NSAIDs.

SOURCE: UT Southwestern Medical Center, news release, Nov. 11, 2004
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