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Novartis is in the process of recruiting subjects for clinical trials for the drug Lumiracoxib. The clinical trials are to compare the effects of Lumiracoxib, ibuprofen, and placebo on a 24-hour blood pressure profile and on urinary excretions (of eicosanoids in controlled hypertensive) in patients who have osteoarthritis.

Meanwhile, Australia’s equivalent of the FDA, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), has just canceled the registration of the osteoarthritis drug, Lumiracoxib. The reason given is because it causes serious liver side effects.

Lumiracoxib is marketed by Novartis Pharmaceuticals under the brand name of Prexige. It is a Cox 2 inhibitor belonging to the group of medicines known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Novartis has submitted a background document on Lumiracoxib to the FDA.

According to the TGA it appears that the longer people are on the medicine, the greater the chance of liver injury. The TGA advises people to stop taking Lumiracoxib immediately and to discuss alternative treatments with a their doctor.

Lumiracoxib is also prescribed for the relief of acute pain, including post-operative pain and pain related to dental procedures.