Osteoarthritis (OA) is a significant health burden with work disability, and large societal costs which may be comparable. It constitutes a growing public health problem with mounting proportion of elderly population. Effective and evidence-based preventive and treatment strategies for OA are important as they may reduce both the individual burden of OA, and the economic burden to the society. Optimal management of patients with OA hip or knee requires a combination of non-pharmacological and pharmacological modalities of therapy. Pharmacological modalities of treatment include acetaminophen, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) non-selective and selective oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), topical NSAIDs and capsaicin, intra-articular injections of corticosteroids and hyaluronates, glucosamine and/or chondroitin sulphate for symptom relief; glucosamine sulphate, chondroitin sulphate and diacerein for possible structure-modifying effects and the use of opioid analgesics for the treatment of refractory pain. Topical NSAIDs and capsaicins as alternatives or adjunctive to oral analgesics are safe and well-tolerated. These creams are popular amongst knee OA patients. Topical use of NSAID has known side effects: local burning sensation and dry skin. Recent awareness on role of nutritional supplements (nutraceuticals) is based on presumption that they may have a specific effect on disease pathophysiology. Though mechanism of actions and efficacy continue to be; they can be used as disease-modifying agents. Physicians may have a significant effect on the quality of life of patients with OA by providing education, collaborating with other specialties, knowing the available resources, and incorporating appropriate pharmacological therapies into treatment regimens.
Keywords: Osteoarthritis; Disability; NSAIDs
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Citation: Balaji More. “Optimizing Pharmacological Treatment of Osteoarthritis”. Acta Scientific Pharmacology 1.3 (2020):01-08.