Since we discussed nifenazone (Thylin - West Pharmaceuticals) last April (Drug & Therap. Bull. 2, 26) Hart and Boardman1 have reported a trial of the drug, the first published in Britain. They substituted nifenazone 750–2000 mg daily for phenylbutazone, oxyphenbutazone or salicylates in 26 patients with painful chronic arthritis, mostly rheumatoid. In 18 of these the symptoms became worse; 7 showed some benefit, but less than with the previous therapy, and in one the improvement was comparable with that obtained from phenylbutazone 300 mg daily. Various side effects e.g. dyspepsia, nausea, mouth ulcers, rash occurred in 8 of the 26 patients. In 10 further patients with rheumatoid arthritis a double-blind comparison was made between nifenazone 500 mg three times daily and placebo tablets. Two patients withdrew from the trial; among the other 8, symptoms improved in one, but 7 noted no change. Objective criteria showed no significant improvement. The results of larger trials of the drug, to be published next November, will be awaited with interest.
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