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Osteoarthritis: Use of Oral NSAIDs and Acetaminophen

Oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often used to manage osteoarthritis pain and other symptoms; acetaminophen is also used. A panel of pain management experts discuss when they should be used and what the primary care physician needs to know about prescribing NSAIDs and acetaminophen for osteoarthritic patients.

The expert panelists are:

  • Charles E. Argoff, MD: Professor of Neurology at Albany Medical College and Director or the Comprehensive Pain Center at Albany Medical Center
  • John F. Peppin, DO, FACP: Director, Clinical Research Division at The Pain Treatment Center of the Bluegrass
  • Steven P. Stanos, DO: Assistant Professor in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Medical Director, Center for Pain Management at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Joseph Shurman, MD moderates this osteoarthritis management video.  He is the Chairman of Pain Management at Scripps Memorial Hospital (La Jolla, CA).

The panel reviews the contradindications, especially for long-term oral NSAID use, as well as discussing when acetaminophen is appropriate.  Dr. Stanos brings up the American Geriatic Society guidelines, as well as the American College of Rheumatology guidelines on osteoarthritis management.

Most importantly for the primary care doctor, the panel notes that many patients use a low dose of an over-the-counter NSAID—but they don't experience a clinical effect. If that is the case with any of your osteoarthritis patients, learn how to best manage them.

First published on: May 17, 2012