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The efficacy and safety of S-flurbiprofen plaster in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis: a phase II, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-finding study

Authors Yataba I, Otsuka N, Matsushita I, Matsumoto H, Hoshino Y

Received 26 January 2017

Accepted for publication 3 March 2017

Published 11 April 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 867—880


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Katherine Hanlon

Ikuko Yataba,1 Noboru Otsuka,1 Isao Matsushita,1 Hideo Matsumoto,2 Yuichi Hoshino3

1Taisho Pharmaceutical Co, Ltd, 2Institute for Integrated Sports Medicine, School of Medicine, Keio University, Tokyo, 3Department of Orthopedics Surgery, School of Medicine, Jichi Medical University, Tochigi, Japan

Background: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) patches are convenient for use and show much less gastrointestinal side effects than oral NSAIDs, whereas its percutaneous absorption is not sufficient for the expression of clinical efficacy at satisfactory level. S-flurbiprofen plaster (SFPP) has shown dramatic improvement in percutaneous absorption results from animal and clinical studies. In this study, the efficacy and safety of SFPP were compared with placebo in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) to determine its optimal dose. This was a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, parallel-group comparative study.
Patients and methods: Enrolled 509 knee OA patients were treated with placebo or SFPP at 10, 20, or 40 mg applied on the affected site once daily for 2 weeks. The primary endpoint for efficacy was improvement in knee pain on rising from the chair assessed by visual analog scale (VAS). The other endpoints were clinical symptoms, pain on walking, and global assessment by both investigator and patient. Safety was evaluated by observing adverse events (AEs).
Results: VAS change in knee pain from baseline to trial end was dose-dependent, least squares mean was 29.5, 31.5, 32.0, and 35.6 mm in placebo and SFPP 10, 20, and 40 mg, respectively. A significant difference was observed between placebo and SFPP 40 mg (P=0.001). In contrast, the effect of SFPP at a dose ≤20 mg was not significantly different from that of placebo. The proportion of the patients who achieved 50% pain relief was 72.4% in 40 mg and 51.2% in placebo (P<0.001). In all other endpoints, SFPP 40 mg showed significant improvement compared with placebo. The incidence of AEs was not different across all four groups, and no severe AEs were observed.
Clinically relevant pain relief was observed in all groups including placebo. Especially 40 mg showed remarkable pain relief in not only primary endpoint but also all the other endpoint with significant differences over placebo. The safety profile of SFPP 40 mg was not different from that of placebo. Therefore, 40 mg was determined as the optimal tested dose.

Keywords: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, patch, double-blind, visual analog scale, topical, optimal dose, randomized controlled trial

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