WHAT IS COX-2 (COX2)
What are COX2 (COX-2) Inhibitors and How to They Work?
To understand COX-2 (COX2) Inhibitors,
you first have to understand COX-1 (COX1)
and what its role in the body is.
Regular NSAIDS (generally COX-1 and COX-2 Inhibitors) work
by inhibiting the production of PROSTAGLANDINS (PGs).
PROSTAGLANDINS are fatty-acid derivatives located
ALL OVER YOUR BODY
that are well known for their inflammation
and immune response effects.
However, THEY ALSO HAVE MANY DIFFERENT ROLES
in the body.
A scientific list would read as such:
PG’s are involved in as diverse normal processes
as ovulation, blood clotting, renal function,
wound healing, vasomotor tone, platelet aggregation,
differentiation of immune cells, nerve growth, bone
metabolism, and initiation of labor.
Pretty essential to your body, wouldn’t you say?
If you are familiar with the fact that when you are using drugs
such as ASPIRIN, your blood thins and you bruise easier,
that is a “side effect” of the COX-1 inhibitor.
In the above list, that would fall under the blood clotting
category. Remember, COX-1 inhibitors work by inhibiting PG’s.
Due to the acidity of the stomach, the cells of your stomach are
replaced very quickly, within a few days.
One of the major roles of PG’s is TO KEEP THE LINING
of the stomach intact, and when your PG system is disrupted
(say by taking COX-1 drugs like many NSAIDS)
stomach IRRITATION, digestive tract problems and even
intestinal or stomach BLEEDING and death could occur.
COX-2 inhibitors were discovered later,
as a “healthier, more targeted” way of treating the
inflammation – without the side effects.
This makes sense as COX-2 is found more commonly
in inflammatory and immune cells than COX-1 drugs,
which exist throughout the body.
Unfortunately, this would prove to be far, far from the truth.
While COX-2 is more specific to inflammation,
the side effects can be worse than COX-1 drugs.
NSAID SIDE EFFECTS
The side effects of COX-1 drugs ARE PRETTY TERRIBLE.
It is estimated that 25% experience some kind of side effect and
5% develop SERIOUS health consequences such as GI (stomach)
bleeding, acute renal failure, or worse.
The New England Journal of Medicine
reports that “anti-inflammatory drugs
(prescription and over-the-counter, which include ADVIL®,
MOTRIN®, ALEVE®, ORDUS®, ASPIRIN, and over 20 others)
alone cause over 16,500 deaths and over 103,000
hospitalizations per year in the US”, according to a review
article published in the New England Journal of Medicine1.
You can see why researchers would believe there was a clear cut
and dry line between COX-1 and COX-2.
The message was clear:
Research (and get patents for) drugs that actually inhibited
only COX-2 and you would have a blockbuster drug
on your hands.
Unfortunately, like many things, it was not nearly
as cut and dry as this.
Over the counter drugs such as
IBUPROFEN AND NAPROXEN
work to inhibit COX-1 and COX-2.
Aspirin works more on COX-1.
Some others such as diclofenac work primarily
on COX-2 but also affect COX-1.
However, even “selective” COX-2 inhibitors aren’t that
selective. At therapeutic dosages, they inhibit enough
COX-1 to potentially cause the same stomach toxicity
and other associated problems as COX-1.
Not to the exact same extent but more than enough
to do damage.
Remember, 16,500 people are KILLED by “harmless”
and “common” NSAIDS such as aspirin
or ibuprofen every year.
In development are other “newer aspirins”
that may prove to ACTUALLY be more selective for COX-2
than COX-1, but in the mean time – despite claims
of being “selective” – the current COX-2’s such as :
VIOXX® (ROFECOXIB) OR (CELECOXIB)
are simply not selective enough,
not to mention some of their potentially horrible
side effects and the associated lawsuits that have been filed
due to side effects such as heart attacks,
stroke and blood clots2.
Our advice is to explore (for OSTEOARTHRITIS)
other alternative, cheaper and far more effective treatments
for your pain.
GLUCOSAMINE is a natural
(and as such not patentable by large drug companies)
substance that has been shown to not just be at least
as effective as IBUPROFEN and other related drugs
but also can slow or maybe even stop the spread
of osteoarthritis. Plus, it works to rejuvenate cartilage
and rebuild the damage that has already occurred.
Not even a pure «second generation» COX-2 drug
will be able to do that.