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Name: Rofecoxib
Synonyms: Vioxx™
Therapy Type: Small Molecule
Target Type: Inflammation
Condition(s): Alzheimer's Disease
U.S. FDA Status: Alzheimer's Disease (Discontinued)
Company: Merck


The anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic effects of NSAIDs appear to result from the inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis. Although the exact mechanism of action has not been determined, these effects appear to be mediated through the inhibition of the COX-2 isoenzyme at the sites of inflammation with subsequent reduction in the synthesis of certain prostaglandins from their arachidonic acid precursors. Rofecoxib selectively inhibits the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme, which is important for the mediation of inflammation and pain. Unlike non-selective NSAIDs, rofecoxib does not inhibit platelet aggregation. It also has little to no affinity for COX-1.


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