London: The increased risk of heart attack or stroke associated with many arthritis drugs may be avoidable, a new international study has claimed.Drugs such as Vioxx, diclofenac, ibuprofen and Celebrex operate by blocking an enzyme known as COX-2, whose presence in blood vessels has up until now been held responsible for these side effects.The study, co-authored by researchers at Imperial College London, carried out on mice has revealed that COX-2 is largely absent from the major blood vessels and instead found in the brain, gut, and kidney as well as the thymus gland in the chest.Now that researchers know where in the body the drug is acting, they can begin to develop safer, more targeted drugs for patients with arthritis as well as cancer.
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