Nimesulide, celecoxib, and DFU (5, 5-dimethyl-3-(3-fluorophenyl)-4-(4-methylsulphonyl)phenyl-2(5H)-furanone) are nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) with selective cyclo-oxygenase (COX)-2 blocking properties and have potent analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities in oral and parenteral administrations. Dexmedetomidine, a highly selective alpha(2)-adrenoceptor agonist, is an extremely potent antinociceptive agent. The present study was conducted to evaluate the antinociception induced by nimesulide, celecoxib, and DFU when topically applied on the tail in the absence or presence of intraperitoneal dexmedetomidine. Antinociception was measured in the radiant tail-flick test after immersion of the tail of rat into a solution of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) containing nimesulide, celecoxib, or DFU. Antinociceptive effect of all drugs peaked at 60 min and decreased gradually to baseline levels at 240 min. Nimesulide had a potency lower than those of celecoxib, and DFU. The antinociceptive effect of dexmedetomidine was blocked by systemic pretreatment of selective alpha(2)-adrenoceptor antagonist, atipamezole. This suggests that antinociceptive effects of dexmedetomidine involve alpha(2)-adrenoceptors. Combination of topical COX-2 inhibitors with intraperitoneal dexrnedetomidine yielded additive analgesic effect. These results demonstrate an additive interaction between topical COX-2 inhibitors with intraperitoneal dexmedetomidine. These observations are significant for physicians to combine selective COX-2 inhibitors and dexmedetomidine in the management of pain. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.