The relative efficacy and safety of flurbiprofen (Ansaid, Upjohn) and indomethacin were compared in 29 patients with monoarticular gouty arthritis of less than 48 hours' duration. A loading dose of 400 mg of flurbiprofen or 200 mg of indomethacin was administered for 24 hours, followed by 200 mg of flurbiprofen per day or 100 mg of indomethacin per day for a maximum of five days. Based on global assessment of improvement, at least 50 percent of patients in both treatment groups showed improvement within 24 hours. There were statistically significant improvements in pain, swelling, erythema, and skin temperature in both groups of patients within 48 hours of treatment. By 72 hours, the proportion of patients with improvement in the flurbiprofen group was equal to or greater than the proportion in the indomethacin group for all clinical efficacy parameters. At the end of treatment, eight of 15 patients in the indomethacin group and five of 14 patients in the flurbiprofen group were asymptomatic. There were no statistically significant differences between indomethacin and flurbiprofen in the percentage of asymptomatic patients at the end of treatment. Side effects were mild in both groups. No clinically significant between-treatment differences were noted in vital signs or in the results of laboratory assays.