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Long-term tolerability of topical diclofenac sodium 1% gel for osteoarthritis in seniors and patients with comorbidities

Authors Peniston JH, Gold MS, Wieman MS, Alwine LK

Received 28 June 2012

Accepted for publication 25 September 2012

Published 20 November 2012 Volume 2012:7 Pages 517—523


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

John H Peniston,1 Morris S Gold,2 Matthew S Wieman,3 Lawrence K Alwine4

1Feasterville Family Health Care Center, Feasterville, PA, 2Clinical Research and Biostatistics, Novartis Consumer Health Inc, Parsippany, NJ, 3Medical Affairs, Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc, Chadds Ford, PA, 4Downingtown Family Medicine, Downingtown, PA, USA

Background: Adverse events associated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) used to treat knee and hand osteoarthritis may be more frequent in certain patient populations. Topical NSAIDs, such as diclofenac sodium 1% gel (DSG), have equivalent efficacy and fewer adverse events compared with oral NSAIDs. This post hoc analysis assessed the long-term tolerability of DSG in elderly patients and patients with an elevated risk of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and renal adverse events.
Methods: Patients ≥ 35 years of age with knee osteoarthritis applied DSG (4 g) to one or both knees for 12 weeks during either of two primary studies and for 9 months during a long-term extension study. Other patients entered the long-term extension study directly and applied DSG for 12 months. Safety was assessed by reported adverse events. Subpopulations were defined based on age, or the comorbidities of hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and cerebrovascular or cardiovascular disease.
Results: The safety population consisted of 947 patients who received at least one dose of DSG during the primary or extension study. Patients aged < 65 years (68.2%) and ≥65 years (67.2%) experienced any adverse event at similar rates. The percentage of patients who experienced any adverse event was similar between patients with and without hypertension (65.5% versus 69.7%, respectively), type 2 diabetes mellitus (64.0% versus 68.2%), or cerebrovascular or cardiovascular disease (61.9% versus 68.5%). Among the 15 patients with all three comorbidities, the percentage of patients with any adverse event (53.3%) was less than that of patients who did not have all three comorbidities (68.0%).
Conclusion: These results suggest that long-term DSG treatment is safe in patient subpopulations with an elevated risk of NSAID-related adverse events, such as the elderly and those with the comorbidities of hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and cerebrovascular or cardiovascular disease.

Keywords: diclofenac, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, osteoarthritis, topical analgesic

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