Background: Etoricoxib is a second-generation cyclooxygenase-2-inhibitor approved in 2012 for short-term treatment of pain associated with dental surgery. Objectives: To evaluate etoricoxib utilization in dental patients in the Nordic countries, including its off-label use. Methods: The entire populations of Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway with etoricoxib prescriptions written by dentists and dispensed in 2012-2014 were evaluated using national register data. Nationwide estimates of etoricoxib utilization were generated according to year, gender, age, dose and package size. Off-label use in paediatric patients, prescribed doses >90 mg/day or for dental contacts not associated with surgical procedures, and concomitant administration with anticoagulants were evaluated. Results: Utilization of etoricoxib for dental pain was low (1615 prescriptions: Finland, 907; Sweden, 359; Norway, 337; Denmark, 12). Overall, 70% of the prescriptions were without an associated dental procedure. Moreover, 58%, 55%, 10% and 58% of the prescriptions in Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway, respectively, were for >90 mg/day doses. Few paediatric prescriptions were dispensed (n < 10), and only a small overlap (n = 21) was observed between etoricoxib and anticoagulant prescriptions. Conclusions: Given the low overall number of prescriptions, it is unlikely that off-label use of etoricoxib within dentistry in the Nordic countries is an important public health concern.
Keywords: Etoricoxib; Nordic countries; cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitors; dental; off-label use.