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More topical NSAIDs: worth the rub?

Abstract

The prospect that topical application might deliver at least some of the benefit of NSAIDs, without the risks of systemic treatment, is seductive, as promotional literature often shows. When we reviewed benzydamine (Difflam), the first topical NSAID other than salicylate, to be licensed in Britain we concluded that it was of uncertain value in the treatment of soft tissue injuries.1 Three more preparations are now available and others are likely to follow. Felbinac gel (Traxam – Lederle) is intended for short-term use in soft tissue injuries. Piroxicam gel (Feldene – Pfizer) and ibuprofen cream (Proflex – Zyma) have additional indications embracing a variety of less short-lived musculo-skeletal disorders.

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