South African Medical Journal

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Diclophenac sodium in rheumatoid arthritis and osteo-arthritis

Sidney Sacks


In a double-blind study the efficacy and tolerability of diclophenac sodium (GP 45'840, Voltaren), a non-pyrazole compound, were compared with indomethacin and ibuprofen in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. No statistically significant differences could be detected during the first week between the 3 preparations tested, apart from the patients' feeling of well-being while on indomethacin. All 3 trial preparations were effective during the first week, apart from the changes in joint circumference which appeared to be of no value, possibly because of the short duration of the trial. Minor side-effects were reported in 5 of the 32 patients who received diclophenac sodium. In no patient was it necessary to discontinue treatment. Gastro-intestinal sideeffects, due to this preparation, occurred in 2 patients - 1co mplained of nausea and 1 had abdominal distension. Two patients discontinued the test, 1 while on ibuprofen, but probably not for drug-related reasons, and 1 while receiving indomethacin.

S. Afr. Med. J., 48, 213 (1974).

AJOL African Journals Online