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Topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for management of osteoarthritis in long-term care patients

Authors Argoff CE, Gloth FM

Published 20 September 2011 Volume 2011:7 Pages 393—399


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Charles E Argoff1, F Michael Gloth2
1Albany Medical College and Comprehensive Pain Center, Albany Medical Center, Albany, NY, USA; 2Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

Abstract: Osteoarthritis is common in patients ≥65 years of age. Although nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often prescribed for osteoarthritis pain, they pose age-related cardiovascular, renal, and gastrointestinal risks. Two topical NSAIDs, diclofenac sodium 1% gel (DSG) and diclofenac sodium 1.5% in 45.5% dimethylsulfoxide solution (D-DMSO), are approved in the US for the treatment of osteoarthritis pain. Topical NSAIDs have shown efficacy and safety in knee (DSG, D-DMSO) and hand (DSG) osteoarthritis. Analyses of data from randomized controlled trials of DSG in hand and knee osteoarthritis demonstrate significant improvement of pain and function in both younger patients (<65 years) and older patients (≥65 years) and suggest good safety and tolerability. However, long-term safety data in older patients are limited. Topical NSAIDs can ease medication administration and help address barriers to pain management in older patients, such as taking multiple medications and inability to swallow, and are a valuable option for long-term care providers.

Keywords: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, long-term care, nursing homes, chronic pain, topical analgesics

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