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Managing Osteoarthritic Pain with Topical NSAIDs

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a leading cause of pain and disability, and OA of the hands, knees and lower back is expected to be one of the major challenges of maintaining physical function and quality of life in the elderly. Oral Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are a common therapy but because oral doses result in high drug levels throughout the body, drug interactions and side effects like gastrointestinal irritation can result. Oral NSAIDs are also a concern in patients who have declining kidney function. Therefore, topical NSAIDs like ketoprofen gel are expected to be at the forefront of therapy because topical NSAIDs provide pain relief at the site of application while avoiding high drug levels elsewhere in the body. Our pharmacist welcomes your questions about the benefits of topical pain relievers. 


Pain Manag. 2018; 8(2):115–128

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