What is COX Inhibitor ?
A COX inhibitor is a type of ‘Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug or NSAID’ that eliminates pain and inflammation. It does so by essentially targeting cyclooxygenase-2 or COX-2 (enzyme). Besides, a COX inhibitor is popular for being as effective as a traditional NSAID. It is because, on consumption, this form of pain relief medication does not cause stomach or intestinal problems. Also, a COX inhibitor is sometimes used in a single dosage form to treat pain after surgery. To help you know more about COX inhibitors, we bring all the basic information you need about them in this article.
How does a COX Inhibitor Reduce Pain and Keep Inflammation at Bay?
In your body, two types of enzymes, COX-1 and COX-2, also called cyclooxygenase-1 and cyclooxygenase-2. Now, these enzymes function together to reduce pain and inflammation in the following ways to serve as a ‘COX inhibitor’. It is as follows:
COX-1 or cyclooxygenase-1 inhibitor:
These enzymes make prostaglandins, which are active lipid compounds in your body. Besides, they help during blood clotting and protect the lining of the stomach and intestines from digestive acid.
COX-2 or cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor:
This group of enzymes make prostaglandins, too, like COX-1. However, COX-2, unlike COX-1, exhibits its effect mainly in blocking inflammation.
Although, you need to note that it is COX-2 and not COX-1 that works as a COX inhibitor. It is because it possesses the property of selectively targeting inflammation that may trigger in your body to help reduce it. Therefore, COX-2 inhibitors are known as selective NSAIDs. Meanwhile, normal Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen affect COX-1 and COX-2 and are hence referred to as ‘Non-Selective NSAIDS’.
What are The Uses of A COX Inhibitor?
Usually, a COX inhibitor proves to be effective in treating pain and inflammation. For example, to resolve pain that you typically experience after any surgery, it is a COX inhibitor medication that you use. It is also frequently used to manage symptoms caused by a ‘Gout’ attack. Some other medical conditions that COX inhibitor proves to be efficient in treating include the following:
- Neuropsychiatric disorders
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Dysmenorrhea or menstrual pain
- Juvenile arthritis
- Juvenile arthritis
- Short-term pain caused by sports injuries
- Familial adenomatous polyposis
Who Requires to Take A COX Inhibitor?
The use of a COX inhibitor, especially a COX-2, can prove to be very beneficial only if you:
- Need to take an anticoagulant or blood thinning drug while also requiring surgery.
- Have a history of bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract (stomach and intestines) and require to take NSAID because you may be undergoing a surgical procedure.
However, if you have any medical conditions mentioned below, you cannot take a COX inhibitor. The list of disorders is as follows:
- Severe renal failure or hepatic impairment
- Allergic reactions or asthma attacks
- Recently undergone coronary artery bypass surgery
- Also, you must avoid giving a COX inhibitor to a child under the age of two
What are The Side Effects of Using A COX Inhibitor to Relieve Pain and Inflammation?
Like other synthetic drugs, when you consume a COX inhibitor drug that especially targets cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). There is a possibility that your body may react to it and thereby produce a few side effects. They are as follows:
Occurrence of stroke and heart attack:
It is a common side-effect that most individuals consuming a COX inhibitor or COX-2 drug may experience. Also, individuals with having history involving medical conditions are at greater risk of experiencing this side effect. It especially occurs when the dosage is large, and the duration of use of a COX inhibitor or COX-2 drug is prolonged.
Serious Problems with the gastrointestinal system:
This serious side-effect will generally involve bleeding, perforation, and ulceration within your stomach and intestines. Besides, you can experience this adverse effect on taking a COX inhibitor or COX-2 drug can happen to you anytime without any obvious signs and symptoms.