Efficacy of Etoricoxib, Celecoxib, Lumiracoxib, Non-Selective NSAIDs, and Acetaminophen in Osteoarthritis: A Mixed Treatment Comparison

WB Stam1, JP Jansen2, SD Taylor*, 3
1 Mapi Group, Houten, The Netherlands
2 Mapi Group, Boston, MA, USA
3 Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA

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© Stam et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Merck & Co, Inc., One Merck Drive, WS2E-85, Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889, USA; Tel: +1 908-423- 3512; Fax: +1 908-735-1688; E-mail:



To compare the efficacy of etoricoxib, lumiracoxib, celecoxib, non-selective (ns) NSAIDs and acetaminophen in the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA)


Randomized placebo controlled trials investigating the effects of acetaminophen 4000mg, diclofenac 150mg, naproxen 1000mg, ibuprofen 2400mg, celecoxib 100-400mg, lumiracoxib 100-400mg, and etoricoxib 30-60mg with treatment duration of at least two weeks were identified with a systematic literature search. The endpoints of interest were pain, physical function and patient global assessment of disease status (PGADS). Pain and physical function reported on different scales (VAS or LIKERT) were translated into effect sizes (ES). An ES 0.2 - 0.5 was defined as a “small” treatment effect, whereas ES of 0.5 – 0.8 and > 0.8 were defined as “moderate” and “large”, respectively. A negative effect indicated superior effects of the treatment group compared to the control group. Results of all trials were analyzed simultaneously with a Bayesian mixed treatment comparison.


There is a >95% probability that etoricoxib (30 or 60mg) shows the greatest improvement in pain and physical function of all interventions compared. ESs of etoricoxib 30mg relative to placebo, celecoxib 200mg, ibuprofen 2400mg, and diclofenac 150mg were -0.66 (95% Credible Interval -0.83; -0.49), -0.32 (-0.50; -0.14), -0.25 (-0.53; 0.03), and -0.17 (-0.41; 0.08), respectively. Regarding physical functioning, ESs of etoricoxib 30mg relative to placebo, celecoxib 200mg, ibuprofen 2400mg, and diclofenac 150mg were -0.61 (-0.76; -0.46), -0.27 (-0.43; -0.10), -0.20 (-0.47; 0.07), and -0.09 (- 0.33; 0.14) respectively. The greatest improvements in PGADS were expected with either etoricoxib or diclofenac.


The current study estimated the efficacy of acetaminophen, nsNSAIDs, and COX-2 selective NSAIDs in OA and found that etoricoxib 30 mg is likely to result in the greatest improvements in pain and physical function. Differences in PGADS between interventions were smaller.

Keywords: Acetaminophen, Bayesian, celecoxib, etoricoxib, lumiracoxib, NSAIDs, osteoarthritis, meta-analysis..