Generic NSAID Causes Fewer Complications

The generic nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) etodolac caused 60 percent fewer gastrointestinal ulcer complications than the over-the-counter painkiller naproxen. That's what researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and the Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center report in a new study. The study included more than 16,000 patients who took either etodolac or naproxen over three years. The study found that the decrease in ulcer complications with etodolac was as large or larger than decreases in earlier studies with brand-name NSAIDs such as Celebrex and Vioxx. Vioxx was recently pulled from the market by its manufacturers because of concerns over side effects such as heart attacks. The use of etodolac instead of brand-name drugs could save the VA health system about $40 million a year, the study said.

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