In this review it is shown that nimesulide, a selective cyclooxigenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor, is different from other selective COX-2 inhibitors and classical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The anti-inflammatory effect mechanism of nimesulide (inhibition of inflammatory mediators) is similar to other classic NSAIDs, but the protective effect of nimesulide on classic NSAIDinduced ulcers elucidates the difference between nimesulide and these other drugs. It is known that the selective COX-2 inhibitor nimesulide prevents NSAID-induced ulcers, while celecoxib and rofecoxib, which are more selective to COX-2, failed to prevent these ulcers. Nimesulide produces gastro-protective effects via a completely different mechanism. In addition, while selective COX-2 inhibitors increase the risk for cardiovascular diseases, nimesulide does not exert significant cardiotoxicity. This data suggests that gastrointestinal side effects of classic NSAIDs cannot be related to the COX-1 inhibition alone and also suggest that nimesulide is an atypical NSAID, which is different from both non-selective and selective COX-2 inhibitors.
Keywords: Nimesulide, cyclooxygenase, NSAID, chemical structure, side effect, antiulcer effect
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