Background: Gout, a common medical condition that causes pain, can be treated by painkillers and anti-inflammatories. Indometacin and etoricoxib are two such drugs. However, no synthesized evidence exists comparing etoricoxib with indometacin in treating patients with gout. Methods: We searched PubMed, Embase, Ovid MEDLINE, Web of Science, ScienceDirect, and the Cochrane Library without restrictions on language or publication date for potential randomized clinical trials comparing etoricoxib with indometacin for gout. The meta-analysis was conducted using a random-effects model. Results: Search results yielded 313 references from six electronic databases, four of which met the eligibility criteria. These four were randomized clinical trials, and they involved a total of 609 patients with gouty arthritis. No significant differences were observed in pain score change, tenderness, or swelling between etoricoxib and indometacin; the mean differences were −0.05 (95% CI, −0.21 to 0.10), −0.06 (95% CI, −0.18 to 0.05), and −0.04 (95% CI, −0.17 to 0.09). However, the pooled data revealed that significantly fewer overall adverse events occurred in the etoricoxib group (n=105, 33.5%) than in the indometacin group (n=130, 44.1%) and the risk ratio was 0.77 (95% CI, 0.62–0.94). Conclusion: Our meta-analysis revealed that etoricoxib and indometacin have similar effects on pain relief. However, etoricoxib has a significantly lower risk of adverse events than does indometacin, especially digestive system-related adverse events.
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