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March 1984

The New Look in Drugs: Is 'Longer Lasting' Better?

Author Affiliations

Arthritis Rehabilitation Program St Luke's Hospital Phoenix, AZ 85006

Arch Intern Med. 1984;144(3):472-473. doi:10.1001/archinte.1984.00350150056017

Recent years have witnessed a variable explosion of nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on the medical market. Approximately 15 are now approved (including some categorized as analgesics) with 15 more in New Drug Application awaiting imminent approval. In addition, at least 30 or more NSAIDs are in various stages of investigation.

Aspirin is a classic prototype against which all NSAIDs are ultimately compared. Aspirin continues to be the most used drug in the world. Its proponents argue convincingly that it is both cheap and effective. The NSAIDs that survive present Food and Drug Administration testing and meet with approval are equally effective, but not cheap.

The problem with regular aspirin is that it is often not taken effectively in anti-inflammatory doses, which may require at least 12 or more tablets several times a day, and is often associated with varying degrees of upper gastrointestinal tract distress. Newer NSAIDs have been shown

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