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The MOXI Study

Myogenic and Osteogenic Responses to Exercise and Ibuprofen



The MOXI study will examine how a commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, ibuprofen, affects increases in muscle and bone mass in response to exercise training in women and men aged 60 years or older. Weight-bearing physical activity is recommended for older adults to preserve muscle and bone mass. However, previous research studies of laboratory animals suggest that taking ibuprofen (or similar drugs) before exercise reduces the beneficial effects on muscle and bone metabolism. One study of young women found that taking ibuprofen before exercise sessions blocked some of the beneficial changes, but that this did not occur when ibuprofen was taken after exercise sessions. The MOXI study will determine whether this occurs in older women and men.

The MOXI study involves participation in a 36-week supervised exercise program. All participants will take one study capsule 1-2 hours before each exercise session and one capsule immediately after each session. The capsules will be either 400 mg of ibuprofen or placebo (no active drug). Participants will have an equal chance of being assigned to one of the following drug groups:

  • Group A: ibuprofen before exercise, placebo after exercise
  • Group B: placebo before exercise, placebo after exercise
  • Group C: placebo before exercise, ibuprofen after exercise

The drugs will be administered in a “double-blinded manner,” which means that neither the participants nor the study investigators will know whether the capsules are ibuprofen or placebo; only the research pharmacist will have this information. The exercise program will include weight lifting and weight-bearing exercises, such as walking on a treadmill or climbing stairs,  four days a week for 36 weeks. The program will be held in the IMAGE Exercise Research Lab on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (formerly Fitzsimons Army Base). Individual exercise instruction will be provided. The men and women who participate in this study must meet these requirements:

  • in generally good health
  • 60 to 75 years of age
  • do not use aspirin, ibuprofen, or similar drugs more than two days per month
  • do not lift weights or perform other vigorous exercise on a regular basis

Volunteers for the MOXI study will undergo a physical exam, a bone density test, a treadmill exercise test and blood tests to determine whether they are eligible for the study. These tests will be performed at no charge.

Wendy Kohrt, PhD, is the Principal Investigator of the MOXI study, which is supported by the National Institute on Aging and has been approved by the Colorado Multiple Institutional Review Board (protocol 06-0769).

For more information about MOXI, please send an email message to MOXIstudy@ucdenver.edu.