[Topical NSAIDs: ineffective or undervalued?]
SourceNederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, vol. 165, (2021), article D5317
Article / Letter to editor
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Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
vol. vol. 165
SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 5: Inflammatory diseases RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
Topical NSAIDs are currently recommended in several national and international guidelines for knee osteoarthritis, hand osteoarthritis and acute musculoskeletal pain. However, there is still widespread skepticism about the effectiveness of this treatment. This article discusses different reasons for this skepticism, a short summary of the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of topical NSAIDs and an overview of available evidence regarding efficacy and safety. Based on this evidence topical NSAIDs have a clear place in the treatment of knee and hand osteoarthritis and acute musculoskeletal pain. Due to less systemic side effects they should be recommended before an oral NSAID is considered. Topical NSAIDs might even be an option for patients with contra-indications for oral NSAIDs. There is a large variety of available topical NSAIDs. Of the available topical NSAIDs in the Netherlands, diclofenac gel seems the most sensible choice.
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