Background: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) play a crucial role in the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Most of the AS patients require a continuous and long-term NSAIDs therapy; therefore the question of NSAIDs safety in this population becomes very important.
Objective: to review the safety of celecoxib in ankylosing spondylitis treatment.
Methods: The PubMed database was searched using the keywords 'ankylosing spondylitis' and 'celecoxib', with the following extraction of clinical trials investigating efficacy and safety of celecoxib in AS.
Results/conclusions: Four clinical trials were found: three randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and one open-label extension of a previous RCT. All RCTs showed a good safety profile for celecoxib treatment in AS, similar to that of nonselective NSAIDs. However, long-term (>or= 1 year) celecoxib safety in AS was not investigated in RCTs. Based on the results of long-term non-AS celecoxib studies, most of the AS patients (because of young age and fewer comorbidities) are probably at low risk for cardiovascular and gastrointestinal complications. Celecoxib showed a good efficacy and safety profile in AS, but further investigations are needed to clarify the long-term safety of celecoxib in this group of patients.