Background: Many people with sore throat seek, and are often inappropriately prescribed, antibiotics.
Aim: The objective of this study was to determine the analgesic efficacy of flurbiprofen 8.75 mg microgranules versus placebo. These microgranules are a possible alternative treatment for patients with sore throat due to upper respiratory tract infection (URTI).
Design and setting: Randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multiple-dose study conducted at eight primary care sites in Australia.
Method: Participants with sore throat of onset within the past 4 days received either flurbiprofen 8.75 mg microgranules or non-medicated placebo microgranules. Throat soreness, difficulty in swallowing, sore throat pain intensity, sore throat relief, oral temperature, and treatment benefits were all assessed at regular intervals.
Result: Of 373 patients from eight centres, 186 received flurbiprofen 8.75 mg microgranules and 187 received placebo microgranules (intent-to-treat population). Throat soreness was significantly reduced over the first 2 hours after the first dose. Reductions in difficulty in swallowing were observed at all time points from 5 to 360 minutes after the first dose, after taking flurbiprofen microgranules versus placebo. Sore throat relief was also evident at 1 minute and lasted for at least 6 hours. The multiple-dose efficacy results showed reduction of difficulty in swallowing at the end of days 1-3 and sore throat relief at the end of day 1.
Conclusion: Microgranules containing flurbiprofen 8.75 mg provided fast and effective relief from sore throat due to URTI and represent an alternative treatment option to antibiotic therapy.