Flurbiprofen microgranules for relief of sore throat: a randomised, double-blind trial

Br J Gen Pract. 2013 Feb;63(607):e149-55. doi: 10.3399/bjgp13X663118.


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.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analgesics / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / administration & dosage*
  • Australia
  • Deglutition Disorders / drug therapy
  • Deglutition Disorders / etiology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Flurbiprofen / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pharyngitis / complications
  • Pharyngitis / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Analgesics
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Flurbiprofen