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General practitioners’ advice to use topical rather than oral ibuprofen resulted in equivalent effects on chronic knee pain

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M Underwood

Professor M Underwood, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK; M.Underwood@warwick.ac.uk

STUDY DESIGN

Design:

randomised controlled trial (Topical or Oral Ibuprofen [TOIB]).

Allocation:

concealed.*

Blinding:

blinded (data collectors).*

STUDY QUESTION

Setting:

26 general practices in the UK.

Patients:

282 patients ⩾50 years of age (mean age 63 y, 54% women) with knee pain (97% with osteoarthritis). Exclusion criteria included history of, or awaiting, knee replacement, and recent knee injury.

Intervention:

the patient’s general practitioner prescribed or recommended preferential use of over-the-counter topical ibuprofen, applied according to manufacturer’s instructions (eg, 0.5 g per knee up to 3 times/d, equivalent to 75 mg/d of ibuprofen using a 5% preparation) (n = 138), or oral ibuprofen, up to 1.2 g/day (n = 144). Increased dose, …

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