OBJECTIVES: To assess the efficacy and safety of etoricoxib 60 mg once daily and naproxen 500 mg twice daily over a 138-week treatment period in patients with osteoarthritis (OA). METHODS: Two 1-year randomised, double blind, parallel group two-part base studies (part I 12 weeks; part II 40 weeks), followed by an 86-week extension, in patients with OA (hip or knee) were conducted at 80 clinical centres (19 countries). The studies had identical designs. Patients taking placebo in part I received etoricoxib or naproxen (1:1 ratio) in part II and the extension; patients taking etoricoxib or naproxen in part I continued to receive the same treatment throughout the entire length of the studies. Co-primary efficacy end points were patient global assessment of disease status, and WOMAC questionnaire pain subscale and physical function subscale (100 mm VAS). Efficacy over 138 weeks was assessed by graphical analysis. Safety was assessed by observation of adverse experiences and laboratory and physical evaluations. RESULTS: 997 patients entered (615 completed) the base studies. Of these patients, 463 patients entered the extensions. A total of 161 and 152 patients in the etoricoxib and naproxen groups, respectively, completed 138 treatment weeks. Etoricoxib and naproxen showed similar efficacy throughout the 138 weeks of treatment. For etoricoxib and naproxen, respectively, WOMAC pain assessments were 67 and 67 mm (baseline); 28 and 29 mm (1 year), and 34 and 33 mm (138 weeks). Results for the other efficacy end points were similar to those seen with the WOMAC pain assessments. Both etoricoxib and naproxen were generally well tolerated. CONCLUSION: Both etoricoxib and naproxen demonstrated long-term clinical efficacy for the treatment of OA. Etoricoxib and naproxen were generally well tolerated.
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