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Curr Med Res Opin. 2012 Aug;28(8):1313-21. doi: 10.1185/03007995.2012.709182. Epub 2012 Jul 19.

Efficacy and tolerability of DHEP-heparin plaster in reducing pain in mild-to-moderate muscle contusions: a double-blind, randomized trial.

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  • 1Private Practice for Orthopedics, Gaggenau, Germany.



To investigate if the 180-mg diclofenac epolamine and heparin sodium 5600 IU medicated plaster (DHEP-heparin) is more effective for pain reduction in mild-to-moderate contusions than the reference diclofenac epolamine 180 mg plaster (DHEP).


This multicenter, multinational, prospective, double-blind versus reference comparator and versus placebo, controlled trial had balanced random assignment in three parallel treatment groups. The DHEP-heparin medicated plaster was compared to the DHEP medicated plaster and a placebo medicated plaster. A total of 331 outpatients, aged ≥18 and ≤65 years, with unilateral mild-to-moderate muscle contusion, pain on standardized movement of ≥50 mm, and superficial hematoma of ≤10 × 14 cm(2) completed the study. Plasters were applied each morning, for ≥20 hours daily for 14 consecutive days. Outcomes were assessed in three visits, over 14 days, plus patients' daily self-assessment.


05DCz/FHp11 - Eudra CT n: 2005-003829-31


Primary efficacy endpoint was mean change from baseline in pain on movement after 3 days of treatment, compared between groups. Secondary efficacy endpoints included mean daily change from baseline in pain on movement during treatment, pain level as assessed at control visits after 7 and 14 days, time (days) to hematoma disappearance based on patients' daily evaluations, rescue medication use, and overall treatment efficacy as judged by both patients and investigators.


Pain progressively declined in all groups, more rapidly in DHEP-heparin recipients, compared to DHEP, and in both active treatment groups compared to placebo. Adverse events were recorded in 24 of the 355 (6.7%) exposed patients, and generally resolved without need to interrupt treatment.


The DHEP-heparin plaster is superior to the reference DHEP plaster in reducing pain associated with mild-to-moderate muscle contusion. Both active treatments were significantly more effective than placebo, and each showed a comparably favorable, placebo-like safety profile.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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