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OARSI – Recommendation XV: Topical NSAIDs Can Be Effective

July 27, 2010

This is a continuation of our series on the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) recommendations for the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis published in the Journal of Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.

topical-NSAID

Topical NSAID

Recommendation XV

Topical NSAIDs and capsaicin can be effective when used in conjunction with oral pain relievers and anti-inflammatories in knee osteoarthritis.

In 13 randomized controlled trials topical NSAIDs were better than placebo in relieving pain and stiffness and in improving function in patients with knee OA.  Also 7 out of 9 existing guidelines recommended the use of topical NSAIDs.

Capsaicin creams contain an extract from chili peppers.  Evidence supports the use of capsaicin cream but 40% of patients are troubled with burning, stinging, or erythema.

The research team gave this osteoarthritis treatment option a Strength of Recommendation score of 85%.

W. Zhang Ph.D., Moskowitz M.D., et al. OARSI recommendations for the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis, Part II: OARSI evidence-based, expert consensus guidelines. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. (2008) 16, 137-162.


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