Preferential Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors as a Nonhormonal Method of Emergency Contraception: A Look at the Evidence

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Objective: To review the literature surrounding the use of preferential cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) inhibitors as an alternative form of emergency contraception.

Data Sources: MEDLINE (1950 to February 2014) was searched using the key words cyclooxygenase or COX-2 combined with contraception, emergency contraception, or ovulation. Results were limited to randomized control trials, controlled clinical trials, and clinical trials.

Study Selection and Data Extraction: Human trials that measured the effects of COX inhibition on female reproductive potential were included for review.

Data Synthesis: The effects of the COX-2 inhibitors rofecoxib, celecoxib, and meloxicam were evaluated in 6 trials. Each of which was small in scope, enrolled women of variable fertility status, used different dosing regimens, included multiple end points, and had variable results.

Conclusions: Insufficient evidence exists to fully support the use of preferential COX-2 inhibitors as a form of emergency contraception. Although all trials resulted in a decrease in ovulatory cycles, outcomes varied between dosing strategies and agents used. A lack of homogeneity in these studies makes comparisons difficult. However, success of meloxicam in multiple trials warrants further study. Larger human trials are necessary before the clinical utility of this method of emergency contraception can be fully appreciated.



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