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Archive for November 16th, 2012

Many. drugs are often employed to treat OA symptoms, but few address the disease directly

Knee osteoarthritis is commonly treated by medications, diets, exercise, braces, and surgery (among other things).  Most medications for osteoarthritis reduce pain and inflammation.  This can indirectly slow the progression of the disease by reducing the fluid in the joint-space (and thereby reducing the pressure on the cartilage).  A new drug, strontium ranelate, delays progression of osteoarthritis by as much as 40%, without employing anti-inflammatories.  This is important because it could potentially be taken in combination with more conventional medications for even more effective treatment.

A recent study presented at the American College of Rheumatology examined the progression of osteoarthritis in more than 1300 seniors over 3 years.  They found that those taking strontium ranelate were 30-40% less likely to require surgery for their osteoarthritis than people taking a placebo.

Strontium ranelate has been approved in Europe, but has not yet been accepted by the FDA.  If the results of this recent study are validated by other papers, US approval should be on the horizon.  So keep your ears open, and when strontium ranelate hits American markets ask your doctor if it could help you.