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Osteoarthritis (OA) – also called degenerative joint disease – is the most common chronic joint condition, affecting about 27 million Americans. The resulting pain, stiffness, and swelling can affect mobility, productivity, and quality of life.
While no treatment has been shown to slow the progression of joint damage, a combination of non-drug interventions and drug therapy can be used to manage symptoms and improve mobility. Resistance exercise, weight loss, and psychosocial interventions are among the non-drug interventions recommended for osteoarthritis patients. Recommended drug therapies include acetaminophen, oral and topical nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), tramadol, and intra-articular corticosteroid injections. The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) provides recommendations for the management of hand, knee, and hip OA.3 The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) provides somewhat different recommendations for the management of knee and hip OA. Drug therapy recommendations are summarized in the Appendix.
This issue will focus on oral medications and complementary therapies commonly used for the treatment of OA – particularly OA of the knee, hip, and hand – based on ACR and AAOS guidelines,3-5 as well as other evidence-based literature.
This program was developed by The Rx Consultant and published by Continuing Education Network, Inc. The Rx Consultant accepts no advertising or financial support from the pharmaceutical industry and is funded solely by the purchase of programs. The Rx Consultant is dedicated to providing unbiased, balanced information to health care practitioners.
Programs developed by The Rx Consultant are written by health care providers with expertise in the topic area, peer-reviewed, extensively edited, and fact-checked. This development process was created to insure that every program presents information that is current, accurate, relevant to "real world" health care providers, and written in an easy reading, "plain English" style.
The Rx Consultant is a publication of Continuing Education Network, Inc.
ACPE Universal Activity Number: 0428-0000-17-010-H01-P
Chief Editor and CE Administrator
Terry M. Baker, PharmD
Tracy Farnen, PharmD
James Chan, PharmD, PhD
Pharmacy Quality and Outcomes Coordinator
Associate Clinical Professor
Richard Ron Finley, B.S. Pharm.,R.Ph.
Consult Pharmacist Aging and Adult Health Services
Julio R. Lopez, PharmD, FCSHP
Adjunct Clinical Professor
Assistant Clinical Professor
Visiting Associate Professor and Lecturer
Pamela Mausner, MD
Helen Berlie, Pharm.D. CDE, BCACP
Ambulatory Care Specialist - Diabetes
Senior Editorial Advisor
Gerard Hatheway, PharmD, PhD
Belinda M. Danielson, RPh
Christopher M. DeSoto, PharmD
Angie S. Graham, PharmD
Cynthia Chan Huang, PharmD, MBA
Fred Plageman, PharmD
Editorial Advisor and Clinical Practice Consultant for Nurse Practitioners
Meuleman, RN, C, MS
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