A third of all general practice consultations are for musculoskeletal complaints. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are widely used, and their gastrointestinal effects account for an estimated 1200 deaths per year in the UK. A hitherto unsuspected inflammatory component is now known to accompany conditions such as atherosclerosis. As understanding of the complex mechanisms underlying the inflammatory process increases, new ways of influencing it are developed, as witness therapies directed against specific cytokines, and COX-2 specific NSAIDs (COXIBs).
• Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
• Disease modifying antirheumatic drugs
• Drug treatment of arthritis
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