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Topical NSAIDs for joint disease

Abstract

Over 20 proprietary topical preparations of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are now available, both 'over the counter' and on prescription. They are licensed for the treatment of pain due to 'non-serious' arthritic conditions and/or soft tissue injuries. In the early 1990s, we could find little evidence to support the use of these products rather than simple analgesics or oral NSAIDs for acute soft tissue injuries, and even less for chronic inflammatory and degenerative joint diseases.1,2 Here, we reconsider the place of topical NSAIDs, concentrating on their use in chronic arthritic conditions.

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