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Summary

Background

Diclofenac-potassium (diclofenac--K) 25 mg liquid capsule is absorbed more quickly than the tablet formulation. It offers potential for rapid pain relief, but may alter gastro-duodenal tolerability.

Aim

To evaluate the gastro-duodenal tolerance of diclofenac-K 25 mg liquid capsules vs. diclofenac-K 12.5 mg tablets, acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) 500 mg tablets and ibuprofen 200 mg liquid capsules.

Methods

In an endoscopist-blinded, randomised, parallel-group study, volunteers received 15 doses of diclofenac-K 25 mg liquid capsules (n = 36), diclofenac-K 2 × 12.5 mg tablets (n = 36), ibuprofen 2 × 200 mg liquid capsules (n = 24) or ASA 2 × 500 mg tablets (n = 36) over 5 days. The primary outcome was the incidence of erosive gastro-duodenal lesions at Day 6. Secondary outcomes included modified Lanza score and change in gastric mucosal prostaglandin synthesis.

Results

The lowest incidence of erosive gastro-duodenal lesions was with diclofenac-K liquid capsules (53%), compared to 61% with diclofenac-K tablets (P = 0.52), 75% with ibuprofen (P = 0.08) and 94% with ASA (P = 0.001). Results were similar for the Lanza scores, although diclofenac-K liquid capsules were significantly superior to ibuprofen liquid capsules (P = 0.04). Diclofenac-K liquid capsules inhibited prostaglandin synthesis by 52% compared to 64% for diclofenac-K tablets (P = 0.10), 50% for ibuprofen (P = 0.85) and 79% for ASA (P = 0.002). With respect to safety, adverse events were most frequent in the ASA group, predominantly gastrointestinal events.

Conclusions

Mucosal injury with diclofenac-K liquid 25 mg liquid capsules was similar to diclofenac-K 25 mg tablets, significantly lower than ASA 1 g tablets and showed some superiority over ibuprofen 400 mg liquid capsules (EudraCT Number 2009-011278-14).