Clinical trial data in support of changing guidelines in osteoarthritis treatment
Casilda M Balmaceda
New York Neurological Consultants, New York, NY, USA
Abstract: Goals for the management of osteoarthritis (OA) emphasize pain relief, reduction of inflammation, and improvement in functioning. Among pharmacological pain management interventions, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are frequently recommended as the most effective treatment option for OA. However, the use of traditional oral NSAIDs is associated with risk of serious adverse events involving the gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and renal systems. Topical NSAIDs are an alternative with well-established tolerability and efficacy in the treatment of OA of the knee or hand. While the management of OA pain is evolving toward the more widespread use of topical NSAIDs, some OA management guidelines have yet to incorporate these agents in their recommendations. This review examines the efficacy and tolerability of topical NSAIDs, their current placement in OA management guidelines, and their potential role in enabling pain specialists to provide individualized care for their patients with OA.
Keywords: topical NSAIDs, diclofenac, practice guidelines, chronic pain, osteoarthritis
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