Evid Based Med doi:10.1136/eb-2012-101083
  • Therapeutics
  • Systematic review with meta-analysis

Topical NSAIDS provide effective pain relief for patients with hand or knee osteoarthritis with similar efficacy, and fewer side effects, than oral NSAIDS

  1. Pippa A Watson
  1. Department of Rheumatology, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK
  1. Correspondence to : Andrew J K Östör
    Department of Rheumatology, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 0QQ, UK; andrew.ostor{at}

Commentary on:


Topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are readily available from chemists and supermarkets worldwide and are commonly used in the treatment of a number of painful conditions. Their overall efficacy in the long term, particularly in relation to chronic painful conditions such as osteoarthritis, has not been fully established.


Derry and colleagues have conducted a thorough and comprehensive review of the area including data from The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE and, as well as their in-house clinical trials registers from 2004 to June 2012. The selection criteria were clearly defined and the methodological quality of each study was appropriately assessed using the Oxford Quality Scale. The studies consisted of randomised double blind studies lasting ≥2 weeks …

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