Abstract| Volume 14, ISSUE 4, SUPPLEMENT , S59, April 2013

Flurbiprofen lozenges in patients with a “bad sore throat”

      Patients seeking medical treatment for a sore throat often describe it as “bad” if they have severe pain on swallowing, the sensation of a very swollen throat, and much difficulty swallowing. To clinicians, a sore throat is “bad” if the pharynx is severely inflamed (enlarged red tonsils, multiple enanthems, prominent adenitis/adenopathy). Because this condition represents a difficult therapeutic challenge, we tested the efficacy of flurbiprofen 8.75 mg lozenges in this group of patients. To diagnose pharyngitis, clinicians documented physical findings on the Tonsillo-Pharyngitis Assessment (TPA).1 Patients rated their pharyngeal symptoms on 100-mm scales: the sore throat pain intensity scale, the swollen throat scale, and the difficulty swallowing scale.2 To qualify as having a “bad sore throat”, patients were evaluated with TPA ≥ 8 and symptoms ≥ 80 mm at baseline. Under double-blind conditions, 46 patients with a bad sore throat were randomly assigned to use 1 sugar-based flurbiprofen or placebo lozenge every 3-6 hours as needed, taking up to 5 lozenges in 24 hours, and rating their symptoms hourly, while awake, over 24 hours. At baseline, both treatment groups had comparable throat pain, swollen throat and difficulty swallowing. Over 24 hours, flurbiprofen-treated patients reported 138% greater reduction in throat pain (SPID24), 263% less difficulty swallowing, and 179% less throat swelling compared with patients using placebo lozenges (all p<0.05). There were no serious side effects. These results demonstrate that flurbiprofen 8.75 mg lozenges are effective at improving the symptoms of patients with a “bad sore throat.” (1. Schachtel et al, J Clin Pharmacol, 2007; 2. Schachtel et al, Clin Pharmacol Ther, 1988.) Supported by a grant from Reckitt Benckiser.