Effectiveness of diclofenac versus acetaminophen in primary care patients with knee osteoarthritis: [NTR1485], DIPA-Trial: Design of a randomized clinical trial

Saskia Pj Verkleij, Pim Aj Luijsterburg, Bart W. Koes, Arthur M. Bohnen, Sita Ma Bierma-Zeinstra

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Osteoarthritis is the most frequent chronic joint disease which causes pain and disability of especially hip and knee. According to international guidelines and the Dutch general practitioners guidelines for non-traumatic knee symptoms, acetaminophen should be the pain medication of first choice for osteoarthritis. However, of all prescribed pain medication in general practice, 90% consists of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs compared to 10% of acetaminophen. Because general practitioners may lack evidence showing a similar efficacy of acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, we present the design of a randomized open-label trial to investigate the efficacy of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (diclofenac) compared with acetaminophen in new consulters with knee osteoarthritis in general practice. Methods/Design. Patients aged 45 years or older consulting their general practitioner with non-traumatic knee pain, meeting the clinical American College of Rheumatology criteria, and with a pain severity score of 2 or higher (on a 0-10 scale), will be randomly allocated to either diclofenac (maximum daily dose of 150 mg) or acetaminophen (maximum daily dose of 3000 mg) for 2 weeks and, if required, an additional 1-2 weeks, with a total follow-up period of 12 weeks. The primary outcomes are knee pain measured with a daily diary, and pain and function measured with the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) at baseline, and at 3, 6, 9, and 12-weeks follow-up. Secondary outcomes are patients' perceived recovery, quality of life, medical, patient, and productivity costs, compliance to therapy, co-interventions, and adverse reactions. Discussion. The successful completion of this trial would lead to a better understanding of which medication should be used in the treatment of primary care patients with mild knee osteoarthritis. Trial registration. Dutch trial registry NTR1485.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7
JournalBMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The DIPA trial was funded by a grant of Nuts Ohra and by the Department of General Practice, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, Netherlands.


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