For U.S. Healthcare Professionals

NSAID systemic exposure is a real concern for many patients

The Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) Expert Consensus Guidelines recommend topical NSAIDs as first-line medications for OA knee pain in patients with comorbidities1

Many of your patients with OA knee pain may also have other comorbidities.2-8 For these patients, consider if adding another oral medication to their list of treatments is right for them, or if a topical could be an appropriate option.

Common comorbidities that your patients with OA knee pain may have:

Coronary heart disease2

Renal impairment (CKD)3

GI bleeding4





Use of concomitant medications is highest among patients with common chronic comorbid conditions:


Mean number of drug classes used by newly diagnosed diabetes patients9


Median number of medications taken 5 years after diabetes diagnosis10


Percent of patients with hypertension taking multiple antihypertension medications11


Mean number of medications patients with CKD take12

Consider the risk of NSAIDs

  • Physicians should weigh the risks of NSAIDs, including severe cardiovascular (CV) risks, when considering topical NSAIDs in high-risk patients13
  • Even topical NSAIDs pose serious CV and GI risks13
  • Hypertension can occur with NSAID treatment. Monitor blood pressure closely13,14
  • Long-term administration of NSAIDs can result in renal papillary necrosis, other renal injury, and renal toxicity13,14

Experts recommend topical NSAIDs for patients with OA knee pain

OARSI Expert Consensus Guidelines recommend topical NSAIDs as first-line medications for OA knee pain in patients with comorbidities.1

What’s your treatment strategy for patients with OA knee pain?

Consider a topical for your patients

Get the details

Review the risks of NSAIDs

See the data

GI=gastrointestinal; NSAID=nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug; OA=osteoarthritis.


  1. McAlindon TE, Bannuru RR, Sullivan MC, Arden NK, Berenbaum F, Bierma-Zeinstra SM, et al. OARSI guidelines for the non-surgical management of knee osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2014;22(3):363-388.
  2. Mozaffarian D, Benjamin EJ, Go AS, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2015 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2015;131(4):e29-e322.
  3. Kidney Disease Statistics for the United States. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/kidney-disease. Accessed January 7, 2018.
  4. El-Tawil AM. Trends on gastrointestinal bleeding and mortality. World J Gastroenterol. 2012;18(11):1154-1158.
  5. Rates of diagnosed diabetes per 100 civilian, non-institutionalized population, by age, US, 1980-2014. CDC website.
  6. Nwankwo T, Yoon SS, Burt V, Gu Q. Hypertension among adults in the United States: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2011-2012. NCHS Data Brief. 2013;(133):1-8.
  7. Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Flegal KM. Prevalence of obesity among adults: United States, 2011-2012. NCHS Data Brief. 2013;(131):1-8.
  8. Pratt LA, Brody DJ. Depression in the U.S. household population, 2009-2012. NCHS Data Brief. 2014;(172):1-8.
  9. Schmittdiel JA, Raebel MA, Dyer W, et al. Prescription medication burden in patients with newly diagnosed diabetes: a SUrveillance, PREvention, and ManagEment of Diabetes Mellitus (SUPREME-DM) study. J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2014;54(4):374-382.
  10. Black JA, Simmons RK, Boothby CE, et al. Medication burden in the first 5 years following diagnosis of type 2 diabetes: findings from the ADDITION-UK trial cohort. BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care. 2015;3(1):e000075.
  11. Gu Q, Burt VL, Dillon CF, Yoon S. Trends in antihypertensive medication use and blood pressure control among United States adults with hypertension: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2001-2010. Circulation. 2012;126(17):2105-2114.
  12. Bailie GR, Eisele G, Liu L, et al. Patterns of medication use in the RRI-CKD study: focus on medications with cardiovascular effects. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2005;20(6):1110-1115.
  13. PENNSAID (diclofenac sodium topical solution) 2% [prescribing information] Horizon.
  14. Crofford LJ. Use of NSAIDs in treating patients with arthritis. Arthritis Res Ther. 2013;15(suppl 3):S2.