News / 

Side effects impact arthritis treatment

Estimated read time: Less than a minute

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Older patients with osteoarthritis prefer treatments with fewer adverse side effects even if they are less effective, U.S. researchers said.

Doctors at Yale University interviewed 100 patients with knee osteoarthritis -- a degenerative joint disease that causes pain and stiffness and is a leading cause of disability.

Of the various treatment options -- including surgery, weight loss and muscle-strengthening exercise -- 44 percent of patients preferred a less effective drug treatment called capsaicin, a topical agent that treats pain.

The risk of adverse side effects -- including gastrointestinal ulcers -- was the biggest factor in the patients' choices, the researchers said.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which are widely prescribed for arthritis patients, also were found to be less-preferred treatments.

The magnitude of the discrepancy between patient preferences in this study and the widespread use of non-selective NSAIDs raises important questions about how patient preferences are elicited and how treatment decisions for osteoarthritis are made in clinical practice, the researchers said in a statement.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International

Most recent News stories


Catch up on the top news and features from, sent weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast