Knee Arthritis Pain Meds May Not Really Work


For a study published in JAMA, researchers analyzed the results of 47 randomized clinical trials lasting at least one year and involving more than 22,000 people with knee osteoarthritis (OA) and 33 medications used to treat the condition. Based on their review, they reported uncertainty about the long-term effectiveness of the treatments compared to placebo.

The review included clinical trials that met the criteria above from the Medline database through August 2018, and the following databases through the end of June 2018:

  • Scopus
  • Embase
  • Web of Science
  • Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials

Most the study participants were between ages 55 and 70. The medications, including analgesics, supplements, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and others, were evaluated for pain relief, improvement of joint function, and improvement of joint structure. According to the researchers, their analysis of long-term improvement revealed significant uncertainties about whether the medications actually relieve osteoarthritis symptoms.

Sourced from: JAMA