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Diclofenac gel provides modest pain relief for people with osteoarthritis in one knee

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 09 February 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:0-e

Research question Does diclofenac gel work better than placebo for people with moderately painful osteoarthritis of one knee?

Answer Diclofenac gel (1.16%) relieves pain and stiffness somewhat better than a placebo, but it takes about a week to start working.

Why did the authors do the study? European and American guidelines recommend oral or topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as second line treatment for osteoarthritis. The authors, supported by the drug manufacturer Novartis, wanted to evaluate the topical gel in a clinical trial with modern robust methods.

What did they do? 237 German patients with osteoarthritis of one knee took part in a double …

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