Clinical implications of drug interactions with coxibs

Pharmacotherapy. 2001 Oct;21(10):1223-32. doi: 10.1592/phco.21.15.1223.33891.


Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) often are prescribed to patients who are taking concomitant drugs. Cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 inhibitors (coxibs) rofecoxib and celecoxib are highly selective inhibitors of COX-2, differentiating them from nonselective NSAIDs, which substantially inhibit both COX-1 and COX-2. Like nonselective NSAIDs, coxibs are hepatically metabolized: rofecoxib primarily by reduction by cytosolic enzymes and celecoxib by the cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzyme system. Because rofecoxib is not significantly metabolized by CYP, it has fewer confirmed or potential drug interactions than celecoxib. However, potent inducers of CYP, such as rifampin, may decrease rofecoxib concentrations because of induction of general hepatic metabolic activity. Celecoxib is metabolized by CYP2C9 and may be increased or decreased by CYP2C9 modifiers. It also inhibits CYP2D6 and may affect concentrations of CYP2D6 substrates. Similar to NSAIDs, many pharmacodynamic interactions involving coxibs are related to inhibition of production of renal prostaglandins. However, coxibs have no antiplatelet activity and may be preferred to NSAIDs in patients receiving antithrombotic therapy. Nonetheless, when a potential for an interaction exists, standard monitoring is recommended when starting or discontinuing a coxib. Due to lack of data to support these interactions, which are primarily theoretical, additional studies are necessary to establish the drug interaction profiles of coxibs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / metabolism
  • Celecoxib
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / metabolism
  • Drug Interactions
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Pyrazoles
  • Sulfonamides / adverse effects*
  • Sulfonamides / metabolism


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors
  • Plant Proteins
  • Pyrazoles
  • Sulfonamides
  • cox2 protein, Glycine soja
  • Electron Transport Complex IV
  • Celecoxib