HONOLULU, HI — Flurbiprofen 8.75mg lozenge provides lasting relief of pharyngeal pain, noted Dr. Bernard Schachtel, from New York University, New York, NY, at the American Pain Society’s 31st Annual Scientific Meeting.

A multi-center, double-blind trial was conducted to distinguish the analgesic effects of flurbiprofen from the demulcent effect of a sugar-based placebo following multiple doses taken over 24 hours (Sum of Pain Intensity Difference [SPID24]). Adult patients with acute sore throats were examined to confirm physical findings of pharyngitis (documented on the Tonsillo-Pharyngitis Assessment [TPA]). A total of 194 patients (aged 18–61 years with TPA ≥4) were randomly assigned to receive one flurbiprofen 8.75mg lozenge (in a sugar-based flavored vehicle) or placebo oral lozenge every 3–6 hours as needed for up to five lozenges over 24 hours.  

Efficacy was measured by three patient-reported outcomes derived from common symptoms of patients with pharyngitis using visual analog scales (VAS 0–100mm): (1) sore throat pain when swallowing (assessed on the sore throat pain intensity scale [STPIS]), (2) difficulty swallowing (on the difficulty swallowing scale [DSS]), and (3) the sensation of a swollen throat (on the swollen throat scale [SwoTS]). Patients rated their symptoms every hour while awake using these three outcomes scales. 

Study results showed no baseline differences between the two treatment groups in terms of any demographic or clinical feature, including the TPA, STPIS, SwoTS, or DSS (all P>0.82). Patients using flurbiprofen had 59% greater STPIS reduction (SPID24), 45% greater DSS reduction, and 44% greater SwoTS reduction (all P<0.01) than those receiving placebo. Overall, more patients taking flurbiprofen reported clinically meaningful relief of pain (≥30% PID) than patients taking placebo (P<0.05).

Dr. Bernard Schachtel and his colleagues concluded, “Flurbiprofen 8.75mg delivered in a lozenge provides safe, meaningful relief for patients with painful pharyngitis.”