Background Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common degenerative joint condition. Family physician plays an important role in the management.
Objectives The guideline seeks to assist primary health care professionals to help patients with OA knee to improve quality of life using pharmacological measures to relieve symptoms, improve drug use and reduce adverse drug incidents.
Methods The guideline is based on evidence-based literature review and was synthesised in accordance with SIGN methodology. A systematic review of literature was carried out using an explicit search strategy devised by a SIGN Information Officer. Each of the selected papers was evaluated using standard SIGH methodological checklists and the articles were subsequently reviewed. The guideline was synthesised by adaptation recommendations using the AGREE Tool. The recommendations were then modified based on the latest best available evidence. The guideline was finally reviewed internally and externally.
Results The first line drug treatment of OA knee is paracetamol in regular divided doses to a maximum of 4g/day. There is good evidence to prescribe NSAID or COX-2 NSAID for reducing pain in short term. Family physician may consider prescribing weak or strong opioids with caution for moderate or severe pain. Intra-articular corticosteroid injections for short term relief can be considered. Family physician may also consider use of topical NSAIDs and hyaluronic acid.
Conclusions Use of appropriate pharmacological measures can effectively relieve symptoms, improve functions and reduce adverse drug incidents.
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