Background/aims: The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is limited by their ability to induce gastrointestinal injury. Two NSAIDs were modified by incorporation of an nitroxybutyl moiety. The short-term ulcerogenic and anti-inflammatory properties of these derivatives were compared with the native NSAIDs.
Methods: Rats were given flurbiprofen, ketoprofen, or their respective derivatives, and the extent of gastric damage and effect on gastric prostaglandin E2 synthesis was assessed. The damage-promoting effects of these compounds were also compared following twice-daily administration for 1 week. Anti-inflammatory properties were examined using a carrageenan-induced paw edema model.
Results: The derivatives of flurbiprofen and ketoprofen caused significantly less short-term gastric mucosal injury at all doses tested, despite producing comparable suppression of prostaglandin synthesis. The NSAID derivatives also showed comparable anti-inflammatory activity to the native compounds. The flurbiprofen derivative inhibited collagen-induced platelet aggregation significantly more than the native NSAID. Plasma nitrate/nitrite levels increased significantly following administration of the flurbiprofen derivative, consistent with release of a nitrogen oxide.
Conclusions: Addition of a nitroxybutyl moiety to two NSAIDs markedly reduced the ability of these agents to induce short-term gastric injury but did not interfere with their ability to suppress inflammatory processes, inhibit prostaglandin synthesis, or inhibit platelet aggregation. These NSAID derivatives may therefore represent a novel class of anti-inflammatory drugs with markedly less ulcerogenic effects on the stomach.