There are several lines of evidence to suggest that cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) plays an important role in the generation and maintenance of neuropathic pain states following peripheral nerve injury. However, COX-2 inhibitors are generally ineffective in reversing mechanical allodynia and hyperalgesia in models of neuropathic hypersensitivity. Here, we have investigated the effects of GW406381, a novel COX-2 inhibitor, on mechanical allodynia, hyperalgesia and generation of spontaneous ectopic discharge in rats following chronic constriction injury (CCI) of the sciatic nerve and compared it with rofecoxib. GW406381 (5mg/kg, 5 days of treatment) significantly reversed the CCI-induced decrease in paw withdrawal thresholds (PWTs), assessed using both von Frey hair and paw pressure tests, whereas an equi-effective dose of rofecoxib (5mg/kg, 5 days of treatment) in inflammatory pain models was ineffective. In rats treated with GW406381, the proportion of fibres showing spontaneous activity was significantly lower (15.58 ) than that in the vehicle (32.67 )- and rofecoxib (39.66 )-treated rats. Ibuprofen, a non-selective COX inhibitor, at 5mg/kg, orally dosed three times a day for 5 days did not significantly affect the PWTs in CCI rats. In naive rats, GW406381 did not significantly change the PWTs. These results illustrate that COX-2 may indeed play an important role in the maintenance of neuropathic pain following nerve injury, but that only certain COX-2 inhibitors, such as GW406381, are effective in this paradigm. Whilst the mechanisms underlying this differential effect of GW406381 are not clear, differences in drug/enzyme kinetic interactions may be a key contributing factor.