Max daily OTC dose of acetaminophen shows efficacy comparable to Rx doses of naproxen for OA pain

May 07, 2004

VANCOUVER, BC (May 7, 2004)--Researchers today announced new clinical evidence showing that long-term use of maximum recommended over-the-counter (OTC) daily doses of acetaminophen (APAP) provide efficacy comparable to prescription doses of naproxen (NAP) for the management of mild-to-moderate osteoarthritis (OA) pain of the hip or knee.

Preliminary analyses of the multicenter, randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, comparative study involving 551 patients aged 40 to 75 years old with mild-to-moderate OA of the hip or knee were presented during the 2nd Joint Scientific Meeting of the American Pain Society and the Canadian Pain Society. Patients in the APAP-treated group (n=276) received 4000mg per day, while those in the NAP group (n=275) received 750 mg per day. All patients were evaluated at one-, three-, and six-month intervals for pain, stiffness, and physical function using the WOMAC™* subscale for pain.

"Even out to six months, our analyses showed no statistical differences between the efficacy of acetaminophen and naproxen for the management of osteoarthritis pain of the hip and knee," said Dr. Anthony Temple, VP Medical Affairs, McNeil Consumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals. "These results indicate that acetaminophen is as effective as prescription doses of naproxen for the pain of arthritis when administered for up to 6 months under the care and observation of the physician."
*Western Ontario and McMaster Universities osteoarthritis index: a standard methodology to measure osteoarthritis pain relief.

About Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the United States, affecting more than 20 million Americans. Joint pain and stiffness due to OA results from the breakdown of cartilage in joints. The most commonly affected areas affected by OA are the fingers, knees, hips, and spine. Other joints affected less frequently include the wrists, elbows, shoulders, and ankles.

The American College of Rheumatology's "Recommendations for the Medical Management of Osteoarthritis of the Hip and Knee: 2000 Update" urge OA sufferers to begin treatment with non-medical remedies such as exercise and weight control. Acetaminophen is listed as a first-line medical treatment for osteoarthritis.

The American College of Rheumatology is an independent, professional medical and scientific society that does not guarantee, warrant or endorse any commercial product or service.

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