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COXIBs, CINODs and H2S-Releasing NSAIDs: Current Perspectives in the Development of Safer Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

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Traditional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, tNSAIDs, are effective medication for prevention of ischemic events and treatment of pain, fever and inflammation. However their use associates with a significant risk to develop gastrointestinal and cardiovascular complications. Low doses of acetyl salicylic acid (ASA) and effective doses of tNSAIDs associate with a 2-6 fold increase in the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. ASA and tNSAIDs inhibit cyclooxygenases (COXs). The COX exists at least in two isoforms, COX-1 and COX-2. Selective inhibitors of COX-2, the coxibs, spares the gastrointestinal tract while exert anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. However, coxibs increase the risk of thrombo-embolic events. Nitric oxide (NO) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S), are potent vasodilatory agents that maintain mucosal integrity in the gastrointestinal tract. Hybrid molecules generated by coupling a NO or H2S releasing moiety to ASA or tNSAIDs has resulted into new classes of NSAIDs. These agents, the NO-releasing NSAIDs, or CINOD, and the H2Sreleasing NSAIDs are currently investigated as a potential alternative to tNSAIDs and coxibs. Naproxcinod has been the first, and so far the only, CINOD investigated in clinical trials. These studies have shown a slightly improvement in gastrointestinal tolerability in comparison to naproxen in surrogate endpoints (number of gastric and duodenal ulcers) and a significant reduction in the risk of destabilization of blood pressure control in patients with osteoarthosis taking anti-hypertensive medications in comparison to either naproxen and rofecoxib. The lack of outcome studies, however, has precluded the approval of naproxcinod by the Food and Drug Administration leading to a voluntary withdrawn of an application to the EMEA in May 2011. NSAIDs that releases H2S as a mechanism supporting an intrinsic gastrointestinal and cardiovascular safety are being investigated in preclinical models. Either naproxen and diclofenac hybrids have been reported to cause less gastrointestinal injury than parent NSAIDs. These novel chemical entities exert a variety of beneficial effects in rodent models of cardiovascular and metabolic disorders through a mechanism that might involve the release of H2S and/or by exerting anti-oxidant effects. The beneficial role these mechanisms in clinical settings await a proof-of-concept study

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Keywords: Aspirin; coxibs; gastrointestinal bleeding; hydrogen sulfide; naproxcinod; nitric oxide; non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; rheumatoid arthritis; side effects

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-08-01

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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