Arthritis patients may decrease pain with less expensive drug option


November 13, 2012

Topic: orthopaedic research

Arthritis patients may decrease pain with less expensive drug option

According to new orthopaedic research presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, corticosteroids reduce pain in arthritis patients more efficiently than a more expensive therapy.

Researchers conducted a clinical trial in which 200 patients with osteoarthritis of the thumbs received one of three treatments - a corticosteroid, hylan G-F 20 or a placebo. While all three groups exhibited significant improvement in pain levels, there was little difference between the effects of the active drug options.

"On average, each of the therapies resulted in clinically meaningful improvement in pain," said lead investigator Lisa Mandl, M.D., M.P.H. "What this study suggests is that a number of different injectable treatments might be effective for patients who have pain in their thumb and that the one that appeared to be the most effective was corticosteroids."

In the U.S., approximately 21 million adults have arthritis and are physically limited by the condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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