INTRODUCTION: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used as part of multimodal analgesia in total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Selective cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 inhibitors (e.g., celecoxib) are believed to have fewer gastrointestinal (GI) adverse effects than nonselective NSAIDS. Meloxicam is less selective for COX-2 than celecoxib is and partially inhibits COX-1 at higher doses. Nonetheless, some surgeons prefer using nonselective NSAIDs because of their lower expense.
METHODS: Four thousand nine hundred ninety-four patients who underwent TKA between January 2015 and February 2020 and took either celecoxib (n = 3,174), meloxicam 15 mg/d (n = 1,819), or meloxicam 7.5 mg/d (n = 451) were studied. Mutlimodal postoperative analgesia protocols were otherwise similar. GI bleeding and wound complication incidence were determined, as well as average 30-day prescription costs.
RESULTS: GI bleeding incidence was similar in the three cohorts (P = 0.4). The incidence of wound complications did not significantly differ between the groups: 0.06%, 0.07%, and 0.22% in the celecoxib, meloxicam 15 mg/d, and meloxicam 7.5 mg/d groups, respectively (P = 0.06). Subsituting meloxicam for celecoxib results in an average savings of $183 per prescription.
DISCUSSION: Meloxicam used at higher doses (15 mg/d) does not markedly increase the risk of GI or wound complications associated with COX-1 inhibition and is less costly for multimodal analgesia after TKA.
Haffar, Amer; Fillingham, Yale A; Breckenridge, Leigham; Gursay, D'Andrew; and Lonner, Jess H, "Meloxicam versus Celecoxib for Postoperative Analgesia after Total Knee Arthroplasty: Safety, Efficacy and Cost" (2022). Rothman Institute Faculty Papers. Paper 176.
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