Cohort study of hepatotoxicity associated with nimesulide and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Giuseppe Traversa, Clara Bianchi, Roberto Da Cas, Iosief Abraha, Francesca Menniti-Ippolito, Mauro Venegoni
BMJ: British Medical Journal 2003 July 5, 327 (7405): 18-22

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the risk of acute hepatotoxicity associated with nimesulide compared with other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

DESIGN: Retrospective cohort and nested case-control study.

SETTING: Umbria region, Italy.

PARTICIPANTS: 400 000 current, recent, and past users (almost 2 million prescriptions) of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs between 1 January 1997 and 31 December 2001.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Admissions to hospital for acute non-viral hepatitis and incidence of all hepatopathies and liver injury among users of nimesulide and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

RESULTS: Current use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs was associated with a 1.4 (95% confidence interval 1.0 to 2.1) increased risk of hepatopathy compared with past use. In current users of nimesulide the rate ratio for all hepatopathies and more severe liver injury was 1.3 (0.7 to 2.3) and 1.9 (1.1 to 3.8), respectively.

CONCLUSION: The risk of liver injury in patients taking nimesulide and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is small.

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