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Papers of the Week

Papers: 11 Mar 2023 - 17 Mar 2023


Pharmacology/Drug Development


2023 Mar 16

J Orthop Res


Topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for management of osteoarthritis pain: A consensus recommendation.


Lee JK, Abbas AA, Cheah TE, Simanjuntak GRN, Sockalingam S, Ahmad SRSW


Osteoarthritis (OA) contributes to significant medical and socio-economic burden in many populations. Its prevalence is expected to rise continuously owing to the combined effects of ageing and increase in risk factors, including obesity, physical inactivity and joint injuries. Pain is a hallmark presentation of OA. Topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are recommended by many international guidelines as an early treatment option of the management of osteoarthritic pain. However, the use of topical NSAIDs remains low in Malaysia and appears not to be a preferred agent in managing OA pain by prescribers. There is also limited guidance from local medical bodies on the use of topical NSAIDs to manage OA pain. This consensus recommendation is intended to serve as a practical guide for healthcare practitioners on the use of topical NSAIDs in the management of OA pain. Eight statements and recommendations were finalised covering the areas of OA burden, topical NSAIDs formulations, safety and efficacy of topical NSAIDs and patient education. Robust evidence is available to support the efficacy and safety of topical NSAIDs, with its benefits further strengthened by ease of use and access. Taking these into consideration, we recommend that healthcare practitioners advocate for the early use of topical NSAIDs over oral NSAIDs for mild-to-moderate OA pain, while engaging in a shared decision-making process with patients for optimal clinical outcomes. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.