A double-blind cross-over study using a double placebo technique was employed to compare the effectiveness of daily alclofenac 3 g and phenylbutazone 300 mg in rheumatoid arthritis. (2) Thirty-one patients with classical or definite rheumatoid arthritis entered the trial. Twenty-three patients completed the trial; eight patients were withdrawn while on alclofenac, six developing a rash and two having inadequate analgesia. (3) Relief of pain on both drugs was comparable. (4) When questioned at the end of the trial, sixteen patients preferred phenylbutazone, four preferred alclofenac. (5) No significant changes in laboratory values were found, apart from a slight mean fall in haemoglobin on phenylbutazone. (6) There were significantly more side effects on alclofenac and rashes were particularly prominent.
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