A Copper-Salicylate Gel for Pain Relief in Osteoarthritis: a Randomised Controlled Trial

Shackel, N. A., Day, R. O. and Brooks, P. M. (1997) A Copper-Salicylate Gel for Pain Relief in Osteoarthritis: a Randomised Controlled Trial. Medical Journal of Australia, 167 3: 134-136.

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Author Shackel, N. A.
Day, R. O.
Brooks, P. M.
Title A Copper-Salicylate Gel for Pain Relief in Osteoarthritis: a Randomised Controlled Trial
Journal name Medical Journal of Australia   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0025-729X
Publication date 1997-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 167
Issue 3
Start page 134
End page 136
Total pages 3
Language eng
Subject 321028 Rheumatology and Arthritis
Abstract Objective: To assess the efficacy and safety of a copper-salicylate gel in osteoarthritis of the hip and knee. Design: Randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Setting: Rheumatology Clinic of St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales (a tertiary referral hospital), June 1993 to October 1994. Patients: 116 patients with pain associated with osteoarthritis of the hip and/or knee (diagnosed by criteria of the European League against Rheumatism), drawn from patients attending the Clinic or self-referred after newspaper advertisements. Intervention: Copper-salicylate or placebo gel (1.5 g) applied twice daily to the forearm for four weeks. Outcome measures: Self-assessment of pain before the trial and after two and four weeks of treatment; patient and investigator assessments of efficacy; additional analgesia required; adverse reactions; and withdrawal rates. Results: Pain scores at rest and on movement decreased in both the copper-salicylate and placebo groups by 13%-20%. There was no significant difference between the two groups for decrease in pain score, patient and investigator efficacy ratings, number of patients requiring paracetamol for extra analgesia (active, 77%; placebo, 71%) and average dose of paracetamol (active, 555 mg/day; placebo, 600 mg/day). Significantly more patients in the copper-salicylate group reported adverse reactions (83% versus 52% of the placebo group), most commonly skin reactions, and withdrew from the trial because of these reactions (17% versus 1.7% of the placebo group). Conclusion: Copper-salicylate gel applied to the forearm was no better than placebo gel as pain relief for patients with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee, but produced significantly more skin rashes.
Keyword anti-inflammatory agents
drug therapy
adverse effects
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown
Additional Notes Shackel NA, Day RO, Kellet B, Brooks PM. A copper-salicylate gel for pain relief in osteoarthritis: a randomised controlled trial. Med J Aust 1997;167:134-6. Copyright 2001. The Medical Journal of Australia. Reproduced with permission.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 22 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 20 Dec 2004, 10:00:00 EST by Di Thornthwaite