The mechanisms underlying interindividual variability in analgesic efficacy of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are not well understood. Therefore, we performed pain phenotyping, functional neuroimaging, pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic assessments, inflammation biomarkers, and gene expression profiling in healthy subjects who underwent surgical extraction of bony impacted third molars and were treated with ibuprofen (400 mg; N = 19) or placebo (N = 10). Analgesic efficacy was not associated with demographic or clinical characteristics, ibuprofen pharmacokinetics, or the degree of cyclooxygenase inhibition by ibuprofen. Compared with partial responders to ibuprofen (N = 9, required rescue medication within the dosing interval), complete responders (N = 10, no rescue medication) exhibited greater induction of urinary prostaglandin metabolites and serum tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin 8. Differentially expressed genes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells were enriched for inflammation-related pathways. These findings suggest that a less pronounced activation of the inflammatory prostanoid system is associated with insufficient pain relief on ibuprofen alone and the need for additional therapeutic intervention.
© 2019 The Authors Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.