Table 7.38Symptoms: pain

Pain outcomeReferenceInterventionAssessment timeOutcome/effect size
Knee osteoarthritis
Pain, VAS (% reduction from baseline)1 RCT (Deal et al. 1991) (N=70)Topical capsaicin vs placebo1, 2 and 4 weeks (end of treatment)Overall p=0.033
Pain severity (scale 0–4, % reduction from baseline)1 RCT (Deal et al. 1991) (N=70)Topical capsaicin vs placebo1, 2 and 4 weeks (end of treatment)Overall p=0.020
Hand
Articular tenderness (tenderness units)1 RCT (Schnitzer et al. 1994) (N=59)Topical capsaicin vs placeboWeek 3 and week 9Both: p=0.02
Pain, VAS (% change from baseline)1 RCT (Schnitzer et al. 1994) (N=59)Topical capsaicin vs placeboWeek 1, 2, 3, 6 and 9 (end of treatment)NS
Articular tenderness (tenderness units)1 RCT (Schnitzer et al. 1994) (N=59)Topical capsaicin vs placeboWeek 1 and week 6 (mid treatments).NS
Mixed (knee, ankle, elbow, wrist, shoulder)
Pain, VAS (% of patients improved)1 RCT (Altman et al. 1994) (N=113)Topical capsaicin vs placeboWeeks 4, 8 and 12 (end of treatment)Week 4: p=0.003
Week 8: p=0.011
Week 12: p=0.020
Tenderness on passive motion (% of patients improved)1 RCT (Altman et al. 1994) (N=113)Topical capsaicin vs placeboWeeks 8 and 12 (end of treatment)Both p=0.03
Tenderness on palpation (% of patients improved)1 RCT (Altman et al. 1994) (N=113)Topical capsaicin vs placeboWeeks 4, 8 and 12 (end of treatment)Week 4: p=0.003
Week 8: p=0.01
Week 12: p=0.01
Pain, VAS (% of patients improved)1 RCT (Altman et al. 1994) (N=113)Topical capsaicin vs placeboWeek 1 and week 2NS
Mixed (knee, hip, shoulder, hand)
Pain (VAS)1 RCT (McCleane 2000) (N=200)Topical capsaicin vs placebo (end of treatment)Weeks 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6Topical capsaicin better than placebo

From: 7, Pharmacological management of osteoarthritis

Cover of Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis: National Clinical Guideline for Care and Management in Adults.
NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 59.
National Collaborating Centre for Chronic Conditions (UK).
Copyright © 2008, Royal College of Physicians of London.

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