Safety of selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors and a basic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) in Japanese patients with NSAID-induced urticaria and/or angioedema: Comparison of meloxicam, etodolac and tiaramide

Naoko Inomata, Hiroyuki Osuna, Junko Yamaguchi, Masahito Onoda, Yoshihiro Takeshita, Yoshiyuki Chiba, Takeshi Kambara, Zenro Ikezawa
Journal of Dermatology 2007, 34 (3): 172-7
The identification of a safe and reliable alternative for patients with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-induced urticaria/angioedema is a frequent problem for dermatologists and other practitioners. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors have been reported to be safe for NSAID-intolerant patients from the US and Europe but not all of them have yet been approved for use in Japan. It was our objective to investigate the clinical manifestations of oral NSAID challenges in Japanese patients with histories of urticaria and/or angioedema after the intake of NSAIDs and to find safe alternative drugs, including COX-2 inhibitors and a basic anti-inflammatory drug. Twenty subjects suspected NSAID-induced urticaria/angioedema from histories were included in a double-blind or single-blind, placebo-controlled oral challenge protocol using NSAIDs. Skin prick tests using NSAIDs, which were dissolved in saline, were conducted. The mean age of the patients was 37.3 years; 14 patients were female. The results of other challenge tests showed that the most frequently intolerated drugs was loxoprofen (100%), followed by acetyl salicylic (94.4%), etodolac (53.3%), dicrofenac (50%), acetaminophen (38.5%), meloxicam (33%), and tiaramide (21.4%). Urticaria and angioedema were induced after aspirin intake in 83.3% and 22.2% of patients, respectively, whereas an asthmatic response was seen in 5.6%. Skin prick tests with NSAIDs were 100% negative. This study showed that among the NSAIDs that are available in Japan and that were investigated in this study, tiaramide, which does not inhibit COX, is the relatively safe alternative drug for Japanese patients with NSAID-induced urtiacaria and/or angioedema. Furthermore, meloxicam seems to be better tolerated than etodolac between two selective COX-2 inhibitors.

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