The use of topical preparations for symptom relief is common in osteoarthritis. The eVects ofibuprofen (5%) and arnica (50 g tincture/100 g, DER 1:20), as gel preparations in patients with radiologicallyconWrmed and symptomatically active osteoarthritis of
interphalangeal joints of hands, were evaluated in arandomised, double-blind study in 204 patients, to
ascertain diVerences in pain relief and hand function after 21 days’ treatment. Diagnosis was according to
established criteria; primary endpoints were pain intensity and hand function; statistical design was as per current regulatory guidelines for testing topical preparations.
There were no diVerences between the two groups in pain and hand function improvements, or in any secondary end points evaluated. Adverse events were reported by six patients (6.1%) on ibuprofen and by Wve patients (4.8%) on arnica.
Our results conWrm that this preparation of arnica is not inferior to ibuprofen when treating osteoarthritis of hands.
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