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Effect of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs on Bone Turnover: An Evidence-Based Review

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Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are frequently used for acute and chronic pain control and treatment of inflammation, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. NSAIDs have been shown to inhibit bone healing in animal studies due to the inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis. However, little evidence exists regarding the effect of NSAID exposure on human bone metabolism. This systematic review summarizes the current literature of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) investigating NSAIDs with bone remodeling-related outcomes in humans. After performing computerized searches in the most widely indexed databases, study selection, data abstraction and risk of bias assessment were conducted in duplicate. The results were controversial regarding the association of NSAID with bone formation or resorption. Increased bone mineral density following NSAID exposure was reported by some studies. Based on the levels of biochemical markers, no effect was seen on bone formation, while some evidence was found for a decreased rate of bone resorption in NSAID patients. Trials investigating the effects of NSAID treatment on bone metabolism outcomes of human patients are limited. Further research is required to confirm or refute the findings of this systematic review.
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Keywords: Bone homeostasis; Bone metabolism; biochemical; bone remodeling; chronic; non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug; osteoarthritis; prostaglandin synthesis; randomized controlled trial; rheumatoid arthritis

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2013

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  • Reviews on Recent Clinical Trials publishes frontier reviews on recent clinical trials of major importance. The journal's aim is to publish the highest quality review articles in the field. Topics covered include: important Phase I - IV clinical trial studies, clinical investigations at all stages of development and therapeutics.

    The journal is essential reading for all researchers and clinicians involved in drug therapy and clinical trials.
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