Comparative bioavailability study of a new formulation of injection of 75 mg diclofenac sodium in 1 ml with the conventional injection of 75 mg diclofenac sodium given in 3 ml volume

Curr Clin Pharmacol. 2011 Feb;6(1):26-9. doi: 10.2174/157488411794941359.


Objectives: Diclofenac a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) is widely used for the management of various musculoskeletal conditions. An injectable test formulation of diclofenac sodium (75 mg/mL) was prepared to facilitate reduction in injection volume as compared to already marketed formulations of diclofenac sodium (75 mg/3 mL). The objective of this study was to compare the bioavailability of test formulation with the reference formulation given intramuscularly in healthy volunteers.

Methods: This two way randomized crossover study was performed in 14 healthy, adult, Indian, male human subjects to compare bioavailability. The formulations were administered intramuscularly (intragluteal) to the volunteers in a two way randomized fashion with a wash out period of 6 days. Blood samples were collected till 6.0 h following drug administration. The samples were analyzed using pre-validated HPLC method.

Results: The mean Cmax and Tmax for the test and reference formulations were 2.14 µg/mL, 1.91 µg/mL and 0.49 h, 0.50 h respectively. The mean AUC(0-t) for test and reference formulations were 3.79 µg.h/mL, and 3.43 µg.h/mL respectively. The mean AUC(0-γ) for test and reference formulation were 4.03 µg.h/mL and 3.65 µg.h/mL respectively. The mean (90% CI) C(max), AUC(0-t) and AUC(0-γ) ratio (Test:Reference) were 1.15 (100.25-132.99), 1.10 (100.34-119.96) and 1.09 (100.78-118.88), respectively.

Conclusion: The test formulation shows a comparable AUC(0-t) and AUC(0-γ) but a higher C(max) in comparison to the reference when given intra-gluteally. The lower volume of the test formulation offers advantage of injection at other sites, like deltoid region. Absence of propylene glycol in the test formulation could be advantageous in terms of improved tolerability. Hence, such formulations of previously well established molecules provide a new direction towards developing better and convenient dosing alternatives.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacokinetics*
  • Area Under Curve
  • Biological Availability
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diclofenac / administration & dosage
  • Diclofenac / pharmacokinetics*
  • Excipients / adverse effects
  • Excipients / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Male
  • Propylene Glycol / adverse effects
  • Propylene Glycol / chemistry*
  • Therapeutic Equivalency


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Excipients
  • Diclofenac
  • Propylene Glycol