Background and objectives: The newly developed S-flurbiprofen plaster (SFPP) is a tape-type patch that shows innovative percutaneous absorption. This study was designed to evaluate the safety of a long-term 52-week SFPP application to osteoarthritis (OA) patients. Methods: This was a multi-center, open-label, uncontrolled prospective study that included 201 OA patients. SFPP at 40 mg/day was applied to the site of pain in 101 patients and at 80 mg/day (2 patches) in 100 patients at a total of 301 sites for 52 weeks. The affected sites assessed included the knee (192), lumbar spine (66), cervical spine (26), and others (17). Drug safety was evaluated by medical examination, laboratory tests, and examination of vital signs. Efficacy was evaluated by the patient’s and clinician’s global assessments and clinical symptoms. Results: Most patients (80.1 %) completed the 52-week SFPP application. The majority of drug-related adverse events (AEs) included mild dermatitis at the application sites and occurred in 46.8 % of the sites. No photosensitive dermatitis was observed. Systemic AEs occurred in 9.0 % of the patients; a serious AE (gastric ulcer hemorrhage) occurred in one patient. No clinically significant changes in the laboratory tests and vital signs were observed. The efficacy evaluation showed an improvement from 2 weeks after the SFPP application, which continued during the 52 weeks’ treatment. Conclusions: No apparent safety concerns were observed, even during the long-term SFPP application. Therefore, SFPP could be an additional pharmacotherapy in OA treatment.
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