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Utility of the sore throat pain model in a multiple-dose assessment of the acute analgesic flurbiprofen: a randomized controlled study

Bernard Schachtel12*, Sue Aspley3, Adrian Shephard3, Timothy Shea3, Gary Smith3 and Emily Schachtel2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, 60 College Street, New Haven, CT 06520-8034, USA

2 Schachtel Research Company, Inc, 4300 So. US Highway One, Suite 203, Jupiter, FL 33477, USA

3 Reckitt Benckiser Healthcare International Ltd., 103-105 Bath Road, Slough, Berkshire SL1 3UH, UK

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Trials 2014, 15:263  doi:10.1186/1745-6215-15-263

Published: 3 July 2014



The sore throat pain model has been conducted by different clinical investigators to demonstrate the efficacy of acute analgesic drugs in single-dose randomized clinical trials. The model used here was designed to study the multiple-dose safety and efficacy of lozenges containing flurbiprofen at 8.75 mg.


Adults (n = 198) with moderate or severe acute sore throat and findings of pharyngitis on a Tonsillo-Pharyngitis Assessment (TPA) were randomly assigned to use either flurbiprofen 8.75 mg lozenges (n = 101) or matching placebo lozenges (n = 97) under double-blind conditions. Patients sucked one lozenge every three to six hours as needed, up to five lozenges per day, and rated symptoms on 100-mm scales: the Sore Throat Pain Intensity Scale (STPIS), the Difficulty Swallowing Scale (DSS), and the Swollen Throat Scale (SwoTS).


Reductions in pain (lasting for three hours) and in difficulty swallowing and throat swelling (for four hours) were observed after a single dose of the flurbiprofen 8.75 mg lozenge (P <0.05 compared with placebo). After using multiple doses over 24 hours, flurbiprofen-treated patients experienced a 59% greater reduction in throat pain, 45% less difficulty swallowing, and 44% less throat swelling than placebo-treated patients (all P <0.01). There were no serious adverse events.


Utilizing the sore throat pain model with multiple doses over 24 hours, flurbiprofen 8.75 mg lozenges were shown to be an effective, well-tolerated treatment for sore throat pain. Other pharmacologic actions (reduced difficulty swallowing and reduced throat swelling) and overall patient satisfaction from the flurbiprofen lozenges were also demonstrated in this multiple-dose implementation of the sore throat pain model.

Trial registration

This trial was registered with, registration number: NCT01048866, registration date: January 13, 2010.

Acute pain; Flurbiprofen; Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent; Pharyngitis; Sore throat