What is it about?

Ibuprofen (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID) and Capsaicin (the hot stuff in chilli peppers) are treatments for painful osteoarthritis. They can be applied to the skin as a cream or gel. We want to be able to personalise treatment for individual patients, so we investigated individual patient responses and see if people preferred one treatment over another.

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Why is it important?

Over half of the people with painful knee osteoarthritis responded better to one treatment over the other. Patients who do not benefit from one type of topical treatment should be offered to try another, which may be more effective.


The n-of-1 trial series design was an excellent way to investigate individual patient preferences, allowing us to examine individual treatment responses and move away from focusing simply on treatment averages.

Dr Joanne Stocks
University of Nottingham

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Individual responses to topical ibuprofen gel or capsaicin cream for painful knee osteoarthritis: a series of n-of-1 trials, Rheumatology, November 2020, Oxford University Press (OUP), DOI: 10.1093/rheumatology/keaa561.
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