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Open Access Research article

Analgesic effect of percutaneously absorbed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: an experimental study in a rat acute inflammation model

Miho Sekiguchi1*, Masayoshi Shirasaka2, Shin-ichi Konno1 and Shin-ichi Kikuchi1

  • * Corresponding author: Miho Sekiguchi miho-s@fmu.ac.jp

  • † Equal contributors

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, 1-Hikarigaoka, Fukushima City, Fukushima 960-1295, Japan

2 Department of Pharmacy, Fukushima Medical University Hospital, 1-Hikarigaoka, Fukushima City, Fukushima 960-1295, Japan

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2008, 9:15  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-9-15

Published: 31 January 2008

Abstract

Background

External medication that is absorbed percutaneously may be used to reduce inflammation and relieve pain from acute injuries such as ankle sprains and bruises. The plaster method of percutaneous absorption for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) was established in Japan in 1988. However, due to the possibility of a placebo effect, the efficacy of this method remains unclear. This experimental study was conducted to control for the placebo effect and to study the efficacy of the plaster method in relieving pain by using a rat model of inflammation.

Methods

Male Wistar-Imamichi rats were used. A yeast suspension was injected into the right hind paw to induce inflammation. A sheet (2.0 × 1.75 cm) containing the drug was adhered to the inflamed paw. Five treatment groups were used, and each sheet contained a single drug: loxoprofen sodium (loxoprofen-Na) (2.5 mg); felbinac (1.75 mg); indomethacin (1.75 mg); ketoprofen (0.75 mg); or base only (control, 0 mg). Mechanical pain threshold, expression of c-Fos in the dorsal horn, and amount of prostaglandin (PG) E2 in the inflamed paw were evaluated.

Results

Pain threshold increased after treatment, and was significantly increased in the loxoprofen-Na group compared with the control group (p < 0.05). Amounts of PGE2 were significantly decreased in the loxoprofen-Na and indomethacin groups compared with the control group (p < 0.05). Expression of c-Fos was significantly decreased in the loxoprofen-Na group compared with the control group (p < 0.05).

Conclusion

Percutaneously absorbed NSAIDs have an analgesic effect, inhibit expression of c-Fos in the dorsal horn, and reduce PGE2 in inflamed tissue, indicating the efficacy of this method of administration for acute inflammation and localized pain.