Osteoarthritis guidelines: a progressive role for topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Steven P Stanos
Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Center for Pain Management, Chicago, IL, USA
Abstract: Current treatment guidelines for the treatment of chronic pain associated with osteoarthritis reflect the collective clinical knowledge of international experts in weighing the benefits of pharmacologic therapy options while striving to minimize the negative effects associated with them. Consideration of disease progression, pattern of flares, level of functional impairment or disability, response to treatment, coexisting conditions such as cardiovascular disease or gastrointestinal disorders, and concomitant prescription medication use should be considered when creating a therapeutic plan for a patient with osteoarthritis. Although topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs historically have not been prevalent in many of the guidelines for osteoarthritis treatment, recent evidence-based medicine and new guidelines now support their use as a viable option for the clinician seeking alternatives to typical oral formulations. This article provides a qualitative review of these treatment guidelines and the emerging role of topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as a therapy option for patients with localized symptoms of osteoarthritis who may be at risk for oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-related serious adverse events.
Keywords: osteoarthritis, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, guidelines, topical analgesics, diclofenac
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