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topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in osteoarthritis

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With respect to topical NSAIDs in osteoarthritis:

  • NICE suggest that (1):
    • healthcare professionals should consider offering topical NSAIDs for pain relief for people with knee or hand osteoarthritis
      • topical NSAIDs and/or paracetamol should be considered ahead of oral NSAIDs, COX-2 inhibitors or opioids
      • a systematic review has also supported the NICE guidance to recommend topical NSAIDs as first line therapy for knee and hand osteoarthritis (2)