Introduction: It is widely accepted that inflammation plays a pivotal role in the progression of atherosclerosis. Anti-inflammatory drugs and especially selective cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors have attracted a keen interest.Areas Covered: In the present drug evaluation article, the authors elucidate the role of celecoxib, a selective COX-2 inhibitor, in the treatment of atherosclerosis. They discuss the atherogenic properties of the COX-2 enzyme. In addition, they address the studies that support an atheroprotective role of celecoxib. Moreover, they provide a review of the literature on the role of COX-2 inhibitors in increasing the rate of major adverse cardiovascular events. Finally, they discuss the emerging evidence that supports celecoxib as an adjuvant or neo-adjuvant therapy to percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).Expert opinion: Several studies have demonstrated a beneficial effect of celecoxib on the progression of atherosclerosis. Nevertheless, this evidence is mainly derived from preliminary data, while a substantial number of clinical studies have raised concerns regarding the cardiovascular safety of COX-2 inhibitors. Interestingly, recent clinical studies have supported the advantages of short-term celecoxib administration in patients undergoing PCI. However, many more large scale clinical trials are required to assess the long-term safety and efficacy of celecoxib administration in patients with cardiovascular disease.
- cox-2 inhibitors