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Eur J Pharmacol. 1994 May 23;257(3):249-55.

A diclofenac derivative without ulcerogenic properties.

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  • 1Gastrointestinal Research Group, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


In this study, we assessed the effects of addition of a nitroxybutyl moiety to diclofenac on its ulcerogenic properties. The diclofenac derivative, 'nitrofenac', was examined in terms of its ability to induce acute gastric erosions and chronic-type gastric ulcers in rats and rabbits, respectively. The effects of these compounds on prostaglandin synthesis in the stomach and at a site of peripheral inflammation were also assessed, as were their anti-inflammatory properties in a model of acute inflammation. Diclofenac dose-dependently caused acute gastric mucosal injury in the rat at all doses tested (10-40 mg/kg), that was significantly greater in severity than that observed with the same doses of nitrofenac. In rabbits, twice-daily administration of diclofenac induced penetrating antral ulcers and small intestinal damage. No damage was observed in the stomach or small intestine of rabbits receiving nitrofenac. Diclofenac and nitrofenac exerted similar inhibitory effects on prostaglandin E2 synthesis in the stomach and in a carrageenan-sponge model of peripheral inflammation. These compounds exerted similar inhibitory effects on carrageenan-induced paw edema. Nitrofenac, but not diclofenac, caused a significant increase in plasma levels of nitrate/nitrite. These results suggest that the addition of a nitroxybutyl moiety to diclofenac markedly reduces the ulcerogenic properties of this compound without interfering with its ability to inhibit cyclo-oxygenase activity or to reduce acute inflammation.

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