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Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2011;7:393-9. doi: 10.2147/TCRM.S24458. Epub 2011 Sep 20.

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

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1
Albany Medical College and Comprehensive Pain Center, Albany Medical Center, Albany, NY, 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:

chronic pain; long-term care; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; nursing homes; topical analgesics

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