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July 29, 1974

Medical News

JAMA. 1974;229(5):505-515. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230430001001

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New drugs may soon supplement aspirin in treating arthritics  The predominance of aspirin, the old standby for short-term therapy in rheumatoid arthritis, is being challenged by several new drugs designed to relieve both pain and inflammation.At this point, there seems to be a standoff between old and new, judging by reports at the recent Pan-American Congress on Rheumatic Diseases in Toronto.Four new agents have all shown encouraging results in clinical trials and in licensed use in other countries. At least one of these will be licensed in the United States within a year, several investigators predicted.The four—ibuprofen, tolmetin, fenoprofen, and naproxen—are all nonsteroidal preparations. The new drugs' strong suit is the apparently lower incidence of side effects associated with their use. Data from comparative tests suggest fewer of the problems sometimes associated with high doses of aspirin, notably gastrointestinal upsets and increased bleeding.Aspirin and the