Commonly used pain medications do not prevent Alzheimer's disease

Apr 26, 2007

Over-the-counter pain medication naproxen and prescription pain reliever celecoxib do not prevent Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published April 25, 2007, in the online edition of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology. These findings appear to contradict earlier observational studies, which found sustained use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may have a protective effect against Alzheimer's disease.

The clinical trial, conducted at six dementia research clinics across the United States, involved more than 2,100 people over age 70 with no signs of dementia, but a family history of Alzheimer's disease. The participants were randomly assigned daily doses of naproxen, celecoxib, or placebo for up to four years, but most participants had received the treatments for less than two years.

The study found neither treatment was associated with a reduction in Alzheimer's disease or dementia.

"Although our study was conducted to test the hypothesis that celecoxib or naproxen would reduce the incidence of Alzheimer's disease, these results indicate no such effect, at least within the first few years after treatment begins," said study author Constantine Lyketsos, MD, MHS, with Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.

The findings appear to be inconsistent with other studies suggesting reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease among people who take NSAIDs over a long period of time. "One possible explanation for this inconsistency is that our findings relate specifically to celecoxib and naproxen, but not to other commonly used NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen. Or the drugs may not prevent the progression of disease in people who have advanced Alzheimer's pathology without symptoms – the very people most likely to develop symptoms within a year or two," said study author John C. S. Breitner, MD, with VA Puget Sound Health Care.

"While long-term follow-up of our study's participants is essential, for now we suggest celecoxib and naproxen not be taken to primarily prevent Alzheimer's disease," urged Lyketsos.

Source: American Academy of Neurology

Explore further: Physicians warned about counterfeit medical devices

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Ibuprofen linked to reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease

May 05, 2008

Long-term use of ibuprofen and other drugs commonly used for aches and pains was associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study published in the May 6, 2008, issue of Neurology, the medical journa ...

Recommended for you

EU regulator: Morning-after pill OK for all women

15 hours ago

(AP)—A commonly used morning-after pill is suitable for use by heavier women, the European Medicines Agency said Thursday after a review of the evidence sparked by the French manufacturer's declaration that the drugs didn't ...

Physicians warned about counterfeit medical devices

19 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Physicians should be aware of the prevalence and serious consequences associated with use of counterfeit medical devices, according to a letter to the editor published online July 20 in Lasers in ...

Zydelig approved for three types of blood cancer

20 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Zydelig (idelalisib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat relapsed forms of blood cancer, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), follicular B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (FL) ...

Journal raises concern about blood-thinning drug

Jul 23, 2014

A medical journal raised concerns Wednesday about a blood-thinning drug widely used by people at risk of stroke, accusing its manufacturer of concealing safety data and regulators of laxness.

User comments : 0