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Toward Pharmacologic Modification of Joint Damage in Osteoarthritis

Kenneth D. Brandt, MD
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Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5103 Requests for Reprints: Kenneth D. Brandt, MD, Rheumatology Division, Indiana University School of Medicine, 541 Clinical Drive, Room 492, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5103. Grant Support: In part by grant AR 20582 from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases.

Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1995;122(11):874-875. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-122-11-199506010-00011
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Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease, and osteoarthritis of the knee is the most common cause of chronic disability among elderly persons in the United States. Current pharmacologic therapy is based chiefly on the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and analgesics that, in most cases, are only moderately effective. The elderly—those at greatest risk for osteoarthritis—are also at greatest risk for serious NSAID side effects such as gastroenteropathy. Joint replacement is often effective but is generally recommended only after years of pain and disability.

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