Send to

Choose Destination
Ann Emerg Med. 2000 Feb;35(2):131-7.

Safety and efficacy of diclofenac ophthalmic solution in the treatment of corneal abrasions.

Author information

Department of Emergency Medicine, Morristown Memorial Hospital, Morristown, NJ 07962, USA.



To determine whether the use of diclofenac ophthalmic solution is a safe and effective analgesic in the treatment of traumatic corneal abrasions in the emergency department.


We conducted a prospective, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Consenting consecutive patients with corneal abrasions who presented to a community-based ED from August through February 1998 were randomly assigned to receive either diclofenac or control vehicle drops. Pain relief was measured using a visual Numeric Pain Intensity Scale (NPIS) before and after treatment. Exclusion criteria were as follows: age younger than 18 years, pregnancy, history of glaucoma, ocular infection, recent eye surgery, other signs of ocular trauma, narcotics within 6 hours, minimal pain (NPIS score <3), and any allergy to diclofenac or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Patients were discharged with study drug or control vehicle solution, a topical antibiotic, oxycodone-acetaminophen as a rescue analgesic, and a pain diary. The outcome measurements were improvement in NPIS score 2 hours after treatment, use of oxycodone-acetaminophen, and occurrence of any adverse effects.


Forty-nine patients were enrolled in the study; 25 received diclofenac and 24 received control vehicle drops. Both groups were similar in gender, age, pretreatment pain duration, NPIS score, and analgesic use. There was significantly greater improvement in the 2-hour NPIS score in the diclofenac group (3.1; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.3 to 4) compared with the control group (1.0; 95% CI 0.1 to 2.0). The difference between the 2 groups was 2.1+/-1.3 (95% CI 0.8 to 3.4). There was a trend toward fewer patients taking rescue oxycodone-acetaminophen in the diclofenac group (20%; 95% CI 4% to 36%) versus the control group (42%; 95% CI 22% to 62%). Other than transient mild stinging, there were no complications associated with diclofenac use.


Diclofenac ophthalmic solution appears to be a safe and effective analgesic in the treatment of traumatic corneal abrasions in the ED.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center