Synergistic effect of the interaction between curcumin and diclofenac on the formalin test in rats

Marco A. De Paz-Campos, Mario I. Ortiz, Aracely E. Chávez Piña, Liliana Zazueta-Beltrán, Gilberto Castañeda-Hernández

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


© 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved. The association of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with certain plant extracts can increase antinociceptive activity, permitting the use of lower doses and thus limiting side effects. Therefore, the aim objective of the current study was to examine the effects of curcumin on the nociception and pharmacokinetics of diclofenac in rats. Antinociception was assessed using the formalin test. Diluted formalin was injected subcutaneously into the dorsal surface of the right hind paw. Nociceptive behavior was quantified as the number of flinches of the injected paw during 60 min after injection, and a reduction in formalin-induced flinching was interpreted as an antinociceptive response. Rats were treated with oral diclofenac (1-31 mg/kg), curcumin (3.1-100 mg/kg) or the diclofenac-curcumin combination (2.4-38.4 mg/kg). To determine the possibility of a pharmacokinetic interaction, the oral bioavailability of diclofenac (10 mg/kg) was studied in presence and the absence of curcumin (31 mg/kg). Diclofenac, curcumin, or diclofenac-curcumin combination produced an antinociceptive effect on the formalin test. ED30values were estimated for the individual drugs, and an isobologram was constructed. The derived theoretical ED30for the antinociceptive effect (19.2 mg/kg) was significantly different from the observed experimental ED30value (9.8 mg/kg); hence, the interaction between diclofenac and curcumin that mediates the antinociceptive effect was synergistic. Notwithstanding, the interaction does not appear to involve pharmacokinetic mechanisms, as oral curcumin failed to produce any significant alteration in oral diclofenac bioavailability. Data suggest that the diclofenac-curcumin combination can interact at the systemic level and may have therapeutic advantages for the clinical treatment of inflammatory pain.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1543-1548
Number of pages1388
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2014


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