Efficacy, Tolerability, and Safety of DFN-15 (Celecoxib Oral Solution, 25 mg/mL) in the Acute Treatment of Episodic Migraine: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study

Richard B. Lipton, Sagar Munjal, Elimor Brand-Schieber, Stewart J. Tepper, David W. Dodick

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Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy, tolerability, and safety of 120 mg DFN-15 vs placebo for the acute treatment of migraine. Background: Certain nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are guideline-recommended therapies for the acute treatment of migraine, but patients who use them may have issues with gastrointestinal tolerability. Celecoxib, a selective inhibitor of cyclooxygenase-2, produces analgesia similar to nonselective NSAIDs. DFN-15 is an oral, ready-made liquid solution of celecoxib being investigated for the acute treatment of migraine. Methods: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, efficacy, tolerability, and safety study in adults with migraine was conducted. Subjects treated a single migraine attack with 120 mg DFN-15 or placebo as soon as possible after the onset of pain of moderate to severe intensity. The 2 independent coprimary efficacy endpoints were the proportion of subjects with freedom from pain and the absence of the most bothersome symptom (MBS) at 2 hours postdose. A second double-blind treatment period followed the first, but did not contribute to the primary outcomes and will be reported elsewhere. Results: There were 622 subjects randomized (1:1) to double-blind treatment with either 120 mg DFN-15 or placebo, and 567 (91.2%) treated a migraine with study drug (n = 285 DFN-15; n = 282 placebo). Groups were balanced in demographic characteristics; the mean age was 40, and most subjects were female (87% [494/567]). At 2 hours postdose, DFN-15 was significantly superior to placebo for pain freedom (35.6% [98/275] vs 21.7% [57/263], P <.001), with an odds ratio (95% CI) of 2.00 (1.36, 2.94) and for freedom from the MBS (57.8% [134/232] vs 44.8% [104/232], P =.007), with an odds ratio (95% CI) of 1.68 (1.17, 2.43). A total of 13.3% (38/285) of DFN-15-treated subjects and 8.9% (25/282) of placebo-treated subjects reported a treatment-emergent adverse event (TEAE). Study drug-related TEAEs were reported by 9.1% (26/285) of DFN-15 subjects and 6.0% (17/282) of placebo subjects, the most common of which were dysgeusia (4.2% [12/285] vs 1.4% [4/282]) and nausea (3.2% [9/285] vs 1.8% [5/282]). No subjects treated with DFN-15 reported TEAEs that were severe or led to withdrawal, and no serious TEAEs or deaths were reported in the study. Conclusions: DFN-15 was significantly more effective than placebo for the acute treatment of migraine, with a generally favorable tolerability and safety profile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-70
Number of pages13
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020



  • acute treatment
  • celecoxib
  • migraine
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug
  • oral

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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