Persistency of use of COX-2-specific inhibitors and non-specific non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in Quebec

Yola Moride, T. Ducruet, S. Rochon, F. Lavoie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The effectiveness of pharmacological therapies is dependent in part on patient persistency with the prescribed therapeutic regimen. In the case of non-specific non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), effectiveness is often compromised by undesirable side-effects, poor compliance or discontinuation of therapy. While patterns of utilization of non-specific NSAIDs have been investigated, few data are available on the patterns of persistency for cyclooxygenase (COX)-2-specific inhibitors. This study used a provincial health-care system database in Quebec, Canada, to determine the duration of treatment in new users of COX-2-specific inhibitors and non-specific NSAIDs over the first 3 months of treatment, and to characterize the factors associated with treatment persistency. Results demonstrate that the median duration of treatment was longer among patients initially prescribed COX-2-specific inhibitors (30 days and 23 days for celecoxib and rofecoxib respectively) than in those prescribed non-selective NSAIDs (10 days). Although the percentage of patients remaining on COX-2-specific drugs declined over the course of treatment, few patients on either celecoxib or rofecoxib switched drugs, either to the other COX-2-specific inhibitor or to non-specific NSAIDs. Factors associated with persistent drug use were: COX-2-specific inhibitors, age, and the use of gastroprotective agents either at treatment initiation or during follow-up. Dosage, chronic disease score and prescriber's speciality were only marginally associated with persistency. Prior use of gastroprotective agents was associated with lower persistency. Although the limitations of this study, which included lack of information on the indication for the prescription and the reason for switch or discontinuation, preclude definite conclusions regarding patterns of use of these drugs, the data suggest that the use of COX-2-specific inhibitors may result in increased persistency with treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)iii17-iii22
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
StatePublished - Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Rheumatology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


  • Adherence
  • COX-2-specific inhibitors
  • Drug utilization
  • Non-specific NSAIDs
  • Persistency


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