CELEBREX, VIOXX, ETC.
Cyclo-oxygenase-2 Inhibitors

A good popular review of Celebrex can be found in the June 15, 1998 issue of the New Yorker magazine, page 32. It's called "Superaspirin" by Jerome Groopman. By specifically inhibiting Cyclo-oxygenase 2, or COX-2, scientists have been able to produce anti-inflammatory drugs which are very powerful at stopping production of inflammatory prostaglandins, but have very few side effects. An excellent overview of these drugs, with structures, can be found in Lancet, Vol 353, Jan 23 '99, page 307-314, by C. J. Hawkey. Celebrex from Searle, Vioxx from Merck, and Dup 697 from Dupont share a "6-5-6" structure in which two six membered rings are attached (but not fused) to "ortho" or adjacent corners of a five membered ring. In Celebrex, the 5 membered ring is pyrazole (two N's, adj.) See structure below. In Vioxx, it's thiophene (one S). Dup 697 has a lactone, which could be called furanone (one O). Nimesulide or Mesulide has 2 six membered rings (no 5), and Meloxicam has a thiazole ring attached to a 6:6 fused ring system. Here are some internet references:


  1. Celecoxib is the name used in England.
  2. FDA approval was speedy
  3. Arthritis will be a major use of the new drugs.
  4. More about Arthritis
  5. Other drugs used against Arthritis
  6. Vioxx is a similar drug, from Merck.
  7. Meloxicam is another drug in the class.
  8. An article about "super painkillers"