Relative bioavailability of diclofenac potassium from softgel capsule vs. powder for oral solution and immediate-release formulation

Diclofenac potassium is a type of NSAID that is used to treat mild to moderate pain.  The people who take this medication want it to act as fast as possible, so their pain will subside.  This study has determined which formulation, soft gel, powder for oral solution, or tablet, would provide the fastest results.

The softgel is a newer formulation, combining the benefits of a tablet form and an oral solution.  It gives the medication as a solution in a solid dosage form.  The investigators wanted to see if this would effectively treat pain as quickly as the other two formations.

The patients were given one of the three dosage forms in a 50 mg strength.  They fasted for 10 hours before receiving the dose as well as for 4 hours after receiving the dose. Each subject had to give 17 blood samples over the course of 24 hours.

The study came to a few conclusions.  They determined that taking the oral solution formulation led to the highest mean peak plasma concentrations of the drug.  The amount of time that it took for the softgel formulation to reach its maximum effect was 0.5 hours, which was right between the oral solution (0.25 hours) and the tablet (0.75 hours).  Overall, the study concluded that the effectiveness of the softgel formulation of diclofenac potassium was comparable to that of the oral solution and tablet.  Patient compliance was increased when they had the opportunity to take the softgel.


Link to article

Bende, G., Biswal, S., Bhad, P., Chen, Y., Salunke, A., Winter, S., Wagner, R. and Sunkara, G. Relative bioavailability of diclofenac potassium from softgel capsule versus powder for oral solution and immediate-release tablet formulation. Clinical Pharmacology in Drug Development, 2016; 5: 76–82.