Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of 12 weeks of treatment with etoricoxib, a selective COX-2 inhibitor, in patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee or hip.
Methods: In the 12-week placebo- and active comparator-controlled period of a randomized, double-blind study, eligible patients were treated with etoricoxib 60 mg once daily (n = 224), naproxen 500 mg twice daily (n = 221), or placebo (n = 56). Western Ontario McMaster's Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) pain and physical function subscales and patient's global assessment of disease status were primary end points. Key secondary and other end points were patient's and investigator's global assessment of response to therapy, WOMAC stiffness subscale, investigator's global assessment of disease status, rescue paracetamol use, proportion of patients discontinuing due to lack of efficacy, and study joint tenderness.
Results: Etoricoxib 60 mg demonstrated efficacy significantly superior to placebo (p < or = 0.005) and comparable to naproxen 500 mg twice daily as assessed by the primary efficacy end points. Secondary and other end points confirmed these results. Treatment effects were evident by day 2, maximal by week 2, and sustained over the entire 12 weeks. Etoricoxib was well tolerated for 12 weeks.
Conclusions: Etoricoxib showed rapid and durable treatment effects in patients with OA of the knee or hip. Etoricoxib was generally well tolerated.