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Open Access Research article

Etoricoxib in the treatment of osteoarthritis over 52-weeks: a double-blind, active-comparator controlled trial [NCT00242489]

Sean P Curtis1*, Barry Bockow2, Chester Fisher3, Joseph Olaleye1, Amy Compton1, Amy T Ko1 and Alise S Reicin1

Author Affiliations

1 Merck & Co., Inc, Rahway, NJ, USA

2 Arthritis Northwest, Seattle, WA, USA

3 Clinical Research, Health Research of Hampton Roads, Newport News, VA, USA

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2005, 6:58  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-6-58

Published: 1 December 2005



The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term efficacy and tolerability of etoricoxib, a COX-2 selective inhibitor, in osteoarthritis (OA) patients.


A double-blind, randomized, multicenter study was conducted in 617 patients with OA of the knee. The base study was 14 weeks in duration and consisted of 2 parts; in Part I (6 weeks), patients were allocated to once daily oral etoricoxib 5, 10, 30, 60, 90 mg or placebo. In Part II (8 weeks); the placebo, etoricoxib 5 and 10 mg groups were reallocated to etoricoxib 30, 60, or 90 mg qd or diclofenac 50 mg t.i.d. Treatment was continued for consecutive 12 and 26 week extensions. Primary efficacy endpoints were the WOMAC VA 3.0 pain subscale and investigator global assessment of disease status. Safety and tolerability were assessed by collecting adverse events throughout the study.


Compared with placebo, the etoricoxib groups displayed significant (p < 0.05), dose-dependent efficacy for all primary endpoints in Part I; efficacy was maintained throughout the 52 weeks of the study. During the 46-week active-comparator controlled period, the etoricoxib groups demonstrated clinical efficacy that was similar to that of diclofenac 150 mg and was generally well tolerated, with a lower incidence of gastrointestinal (GI) nuisance symptoms compared with diclofenac (13.1, 14.7, and 13.5% for etoricoxib 30, 60, and 90 mg, respectively compared with 22.5% for diclofenac).


In this extension study, etoricoxib, at doses ranging from 30 to 90 mg, demonstrated a maintenance of significant clinical efficacy in patients with OA through 52 weeks of treatment. Etoricoxib displayed clinical efficacy similar to diclofenac 150 mg and was generally well tolerated.