AAOS Report - February, 2005

AAOS addresses use of pain medications, NSAIDS

Recent news about pharmaceutical and over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication used to treat arthritis and other musculoskeletal disorders has caused concern in the medical community. There currently is conflicting research data on several of the drug agents. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold an advisory committee meeting on Feb. 16-17, 2005 to discuss the analysis of the data on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in response to this controversy. AAOS will update its membership with all relevant scientific information.

The AAOS has stated that medication involves a risk/benefit ratio and should be assessed by physicians in conjunction with their patient and in light of their patient’s specific condition. The AAOS encourages its fellows to monitor new research and developments in these therapies because information continues to develop rapidly. Because NSAID use has been associated with gastrointestinal symptoms, physicians may want to consider therapies that provide protection for the stomach, in addition to pain relief. Physical therapy, exercise, and acupuncture may also provide pain relief for some patients. (For additional resources, go to http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/index.html)

To read the full text of the statement, go to the Academy’s patient education Web site, Your Orthopaedic Connection, Arthritis section, “Use of Pain Medications, Naiads.”

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