Introduction Cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) inhibitors have less upper gastrointestinal toxicity than traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). However, both COX-2 inhibitors and traditional NSAIDs may be associated with adverse cardiovascular side effects. Data from randomised and observational studies suggest that celecoxib has similar cardiovascular toxicity to traditional NSAIDs. The overall safety balance of a strategy of celecoxib therapy versus traditional NSAID therapy is unknown. The European Medicines Agency requested studies of the cardiovascular safety of celecoxib within Europe. The Standard care versus Celecoxib Outcome Trial (SCOT) compares the cardiovascular safety of celecoxib with traditional NSAID therapy in the setting of the European Union healthcare system.
Methods and analysis SCOT is a large streamlined safety study conducted in Scotland, England, Denmark and the Netherlands using the Prospective Randomised Open Blinded Endpoint design. Patients aged over 60 years with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, free from established cardiovascular disease and requiring chronic NSAID therapy, are randomised to celecoxib or their previous traditional NSAID. They are then followed up for events by record-linkage within their normal healthcare setting. The hypothesis is non-inferiority with a confidence limit of 1.4. The primary endpoint is the first occurrence of hospitalisation or death for the Anti-Platelet Trialists’ Collaboration (APTC) cardiovascular endpoint of non-fatal myocardial infarction, non-fatal stroke or cardiovascular death. Secondary endpoints are (1) first hospitalisation or death for upper gastrointestinal ulcer complications (bleeding, perforation or obstruction); (2) first occurrence of hospitalised upper gastrointestinal ulcer complications or APTC endpoint; (3) first hospitalisation for heart failure; (4) first hospitalisation for APTC endpoint plus heart failure; (5) all-cause mortality and (6) first hospitalisation for new or worsening renal failure.
Ethics and dissemination SCOT has been approved by the relevant ethics committees. The trial results will be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
Clinical trials registration number Clinicaltrials.gov (NCT00447759).
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