Aceclofenac: A Reappraisal of its Use in the Management of Pain and Rheumatic Disease

Dooley, M.; Spencer, C.M.; Dunn, C.J.
July 2001
Drugs;Jul2001, Vol. 61 Issue 9, p1351
Academic Journal
Aceclofenac is an orally administered phenylacetic acid derivative with effects on a variety of inflammatory mediators. Through its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, aceclofenac provides symptomatic relief in a variety of painful conditions. In patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, the drug decreases pain, reduces disease severity and improves the functional capacity of the knee to a similar extent to diclofenac, piroxicam and naproxen. Aceclofenac reduces joint inflammation, pain intensity and the duration of morning stiffness in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and is similar in efficacy to ketoprofen, diclofenac, indomethacin and tenoxicam in these patients. The duration of morning stiffness and pain intensity are reduced, and spinal mobility improved, by aceclofenac in patients with ankylosing spondylitis, with improvements being similar to those observed with indomethacin, naproxen or tenoxicam. Aceclofenac is also effective in other painful conditions (e.g. dental and gynaecological). In contrast to some other NSAIDs, aceclofenac has shown stimulatory effects on cartilage matrix synthesis. Aceclofenac is well tolerated, with most adverse events being minor and reversible, and affecting mainly the GI system. Although the incidence of GI adverse events with aceclofenac was similar to those of comparator NSAIDs in individual clinical trials, withdrawal rates due to these events were significantly lower with aceclofenac than with ketoprofen and tenoxicam. Superior overall and/or GI tolerability of the drug relative to other NSAIDs has been indicated by a nonrandomised comparison with sustained release diclofenac in 10 142 patients, a meta-analysis of 13 comparisons with diclofenac, naproxen, piroxicam, indomethacin, tenoxicam or ketoprofen in 3574 patients, and preliminary details of a comparison with 10 other NSAIDs in 142 776 patients. Further analysis of the above meta-analytical data has indicated that costs incurred as a result of adverse event management are lower with aceclofenac than with a range of comparator NSAIDs. Conclusions: Trials of 2 to 6 months' duration have shown aceclofenac to be an effective agent in the management of pain and rheumatic disease. Data from in vitro studies indicate properties of particular interest with respect to cartilage matrix effects and selectivity for cyclo-oxygenase-2. Aceclofenac is well tolerated, with encouraging reports of improved general and GI tolerability relative to other NSAIDs from a meta-analysis of double-blind trials and from large nonblind studies.


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