Drugs. 2002;62(18):2637-51; discussion 2652-3. doi: 10.2165/00003495-200262180-00006.


Etoricoxib is a cyclo-oxygenase (COX)-2-selective NSAID with a higher COX-1 to COX-2 selectivity ratio than the other COX-2-selective NSAIDs rofecoxib, valdecoxib or celecoxib. In patients with rheumatoid arthritis, improvements in tender and swollen joint counts and patient and investigator global assessment of disease activity were significantly greater in etoricoxib than in placebo recipients in two studies. Etoricoxib was also significantly more effective than naproxen in one of these studies. In patients with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee, etoricoxib was significantly more effective than placebo and had similar efficacy to naproxen with regards to improvements in pain and physical function scores and patient global assessment of disease status scores in two studies. Etoricoxib had similar efficacy to diclofenac in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. Single-dose etoricoxib relieved pain in patients with postoperative dental pain in two studies. Similar scores assessing total pain relief over 8 hours (TOPAR8) were reported in etoricoxib and naproxen sodium or ibuprofen recipients, and higher TOPAR8 scores were reported with etoricoxib than with paracetamol (acetaminophen)/codeine. Pain relief was significantly better with etoricoxib than placebo in two studies in patients with chronic low back pain. Etoricoxib had similar efficacy to indomethacin in a study in patients with acute gout, and single-dose etoricoxib had similar efficacy to naproxen sodium in a study in women with primary dysmenorrhoea. Compared with non-COX-selective NSAIDs, etoricoxib was associated with significantly fewer upper gastrointestinal (GI) perforations, ulcers or bleeds, and was significantly less likely to result in treatment discontinuation because of NSAID-type GI symptoms or any GI symptoms.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Arthritis / drug therapy
  • Back Pain / drug therapy
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cyclooxygenase 1
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Etoricoxib
  • Gout / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Oral Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy
  • Pain, Postoperative / etiology
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases
  • Pyridines / adverse effects
  • Pyridines / pharmacology
  • Pyridines / therapeutic use*
  • Sulfones / adverse effects
  • Sulfones / pharmacology
  • Sulfones / therapeutic use*


  • Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors
  • Isoenzymes
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Pyridines
  • Sulfones
  • Cyclooxygenase 1
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • PTGS1 protein, human
  • PTGS2 protein, human
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases
  • Etoricoxib