Ketoprofen 2.5% gel: a clinical overview

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2011 Aug;15(8):943-9.


Ketoprofen (KP), a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), possesses analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory properties. Oral KP is widely used in musculoskeletal pain and inflammation in muscles and joints, including arthritis pain, osteoarthritis, stiffness of the joints, soft tissue rheumatism, and sports injuries. In common with all NSAIDs, oral KP has been associated with systemic adverse events and in particular gastrointestinal disorders. Topical application of the active ingredient is locally effective and at the same time minimises the risk of systemic adverse events. Pharmacokinetic studies show that serum levels of the active ingredient following topical KP 2.5% gel are less than 1% of those reported after oral dosing, thereby providing good levels of pain relief without the systemic adverse events normally associated with oral NSAIDs. In comparative studies, topical KP 2.5% gel twice daily showed clinical benefits in patients with a range of musculoskeletal conditions. KP 2.5% gel is generally well tolerated but the treated skin area should not be exposed to direct sunlight, including solarium (sunbeds), during the treatment and for 2 weeks afterwards as topical photosensitization has been reported. To our knowledge, this is the first overview on the use of topical KP (tKP) 2.5% gel which includes data from both clinical trials and from 'real-life' clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacokinetics
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Ketoprofen / adverse effects
  • Ketoprofen / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ketoprofen / pharmacokinetics
  • Ketoprofen / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • ketoprofen topical gel
  • Ketoprofen