Non-NSAID over-the-counter (OTC) remedies for arthritis: Good, bad or indifferent?

Whitehouse, M. W. and Butters, D. E. (1999) Non-NSAID over-the-counter (OTC) remedies for arthritis: Good, bad or indifferent?. Inflammopharmacology, 7 3: 227-247. doi:10.1007/s10787-999-0006-z


Author Whitehouse, M. W.
Butters, D. E.
Title Non-NSAID over-the-counter (OTC) remedies for arthritis: Good, bad or indifferent?
Journal name Inflammopharmacology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0925-4692
1568-5608
Publication date 1999-09-01
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1007/s10787-999-0006-z
Open Access Status
Volume 7
Issue 3
Start page 227
End page 247
Total pages 21
Place of publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Kluwer
Language eng
Subject C1
321215 Health Care Administration
730301 Health education and promotion
Abstract This overview looks at some of the issues involved with the ever-increasing availability of marketed non-prescription products, specifically claiming to treat the pain and inflammation of arthritis and other musculoskeletal problems.The question of whether the buyer is getting (any) value for their money cannot be answered without considering several key issues. These include: (a) reliability of claims; (b) placebo effect (but for how long?); (c) reliability of composition, and reproducibility (especially of natural products); (d) general safety; (e) interactions with other medications; (f) honest labelling (in the absence of stricter guidelines).A particularly difficult problem is to know how to recognise a 'drug of choice', particularly for such a multi-faceted disease as chronic arthritis, when there is so little information about the actual pharmacology/potential toxicity of these OTC products in the standard drug compendia and other readily available reference texts.This grey area can only be illuminated by (i) further introduction (and enforcement) of adequate standards/quality controls for products offered OTC; (ii) earliest prosecution of clinical trials to supercede unverified testimonial claims; (iii) appropriate funding to research/establish basic pharmacology of the active principles.In summary, more research, more regulation, and more realistic investment will be required to dispel present uncertainty about which non-NSAID drugs/nutriceuticals are indeed effective against arthritis/other forms of inflammation, and which are not.
Formatted abstract
This overview looks at some of the issues involved with the ever-increasing availability of marketed non-prescription products, specifically claiming to treat the pain and inflammation of arthritis and other musculoskeletal problems.

The question of whether the buyer is getting (any) value for their money cannot be answered without considering several key issues. These include: (a) reliability of claims; (b) placebo effect (but for how long?); (c) reliability of composition, and reproducibility (especially of natural products); (d) general safety; (e) interactions with other medications; (f) honest labelling (in the absence of stricter guidelines).

A particularly difficult problem is to know how to recognise a ‘drug of choice’, particularly for such a multi-faceted disease as chronic arthritis, when there is so little information about the actual pharmacology/potential toxicity of these OTC products in the standard drug compendia and other readily available reference texts.

This grey area can only be illuminated by (i) further introduction (and enforcement) of adequate standards/quality controls for products offered OTC; (ii) earliest prosecution of clinical trials to supercede unverified testimonial claims; (iii) appropriate funding to research/establish basic pharmacology of the active principles.

In summary, more research, more regulation, and more realistic investment will be required to dispel present uncertainty about which non-NSAID drugs/nutriceuticals are indeed effective against arthritis/other forms of inflammation, and which are not.
Q-Index Code C1
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Journal preface notes: "The papers and abstracts in this issue of Inflammopharmacology are from presentations at the recent International Conference on Inflammopharmacology (with Sixth Symposium on Side Effects of Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) which was held at Chateau Elan, Braselton, Georgia, USA on 23rd-26th May 1999".

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: School of Public Health Publications
School of Medicine Publications
 
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Created: Wed, 11 Jun 2008, 01:21:30 EST