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rofecoxib (vioxx)

available over the counter: no

uses: used for chronic osteoarthritis pain

mechanism of action: inhibits the enzyme cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2), therefore reducing synthesis of prostaglandins (chemicals in the body which play a role in pain and inflammation);  does not inhibit activity of COX-1, an enzyme involved in the synthesis of prostaglandins which protect the stomach against ulcers

side effects
• common:
indigestion, swelling, increased blood pressure
• less common: flatulence, sore throat, abdominal pain
• serious: gastric ulcers, tarry stools, liver disease

concerns: do not take with other NSAIDS (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs); notify your doctor if you are taking furosemide, ACE inhibitors, fluconazole, lithium, or warfarin


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