Objective: Curcumin is one of the most investigated phytochemical products because of its low toxicity and its broad spectrum of bioactivity, including anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. A new delivery form of curcumin, resorting to phosphatidylcholine (Meriva®, formulated as the finished product Algocur®) has been developed to increase its bioavailability. In this study, we tested the efficacy and safety of a Meriva®-based product in rugby players suffering by different osteo-muscular pain conditions PATIENTS AND METHODS: In this pilot study, 50 male rugby players with osteo-muscular pain due to traumatic injuries, physical overload or acute episode of chronic pain were recruited and treated with conventional analgesic drugs (n = 25) or Meriva®-based product (n = 25) for a maximum of 10 days. The pain perception and the functio laesa were evaluated at baseline and after 1, 3, 6, 10 and 20 days from the initiation of the treatment protocol. Treatment tolerability, compliance, and adverse events were also reported.
Results: During the study, the analgesic effect decreased in both treated group compared to baseline, starting from the third day of treatment. Similarly, the impaired physical function evaluated after 3, 6, 10 and 20 days improved in Meriva®-based product treated group and in subjects treated with conventional analgesic drugs, compared to the baseline condition. The percentage of excellent adherence to treatment or tolerability was higher in the Meriva®-based product treated group. Only 1 (4%) subject treated with Meriva®-based product experienced adverse events whereas 4 (16%) subjects treated with conventional analgesic drugs reported gastric pain as an adverse event.
Conclusions: Despite the small sample size and the group heterogeneity, this study suggests that the naturally-derived, curcumin-based delivery form, Meriva® (formulated as the finished product Algocur®), could represent a promising safe, analgesic remedy in painful osteo-muscular conditions associated with intense, high impact, physical activities.