Diclofenac sodium 1% gel (DSG), a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory treatment, was found to be superior to vehicle gel for reducing osteoarthritis (OA) pain in the finger joints in a study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine’s 59th Annual Meeting in San Francisco. There also was a trend toward improvement in stiffness and function.
Patients aged 40 years and older with hand OA applied DSG or a vehicle/placebo gel 4 times daily for 8 weeks. Researchers assessed pain intensity using a Visual Analog Scale and measured pain, stiffness, and function with AUStralian/CANadian Osteoarthritis Hand Index subscales. They compared the effectiveness of the topical treatments in patients with OA in the first carpometacarpal joint, first carpometacarpal plus interphalangeal joints, and interphalangeal joints only. Limiting treatment to the affected finger joints with topical DSG may be preferable for those patients who wish to minimize systemic NSAID exposure, it was noted.