Exercise and Tylenol ‘May be all that’s needed” for OA Treatment

Newly revised recommendations affirm that Tylenol® be used for initial drug therapy for mild-to-moderate osteoarthritis pain. The newly revised Recommendations for the Medical Management of Osteoarthritis of the Hip and Knee: 2000 Update issued by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) place acetaminophen, the key ingredient in Tylenol, at the forefront of arthritis pain treatment.

“We’re very pleased that the ACR continues to recommend acetaminophen as the initial drug therapy for the mild-to-moderate pain of osteoarthritis, the most common arthritis among Americans,” said Anthony R. Temple, M.D., vice president of Medical Affairs for McNeil.

“Despite the introduction of new treatment options since the ACR first developed its guidelines in 1995, acetaminophen’s efficacy, superior safety profile and cost have been reaffirmed for the treatment of osteoarthritis,” he added.

Dr. Temple said that McNeil, a Johnson & Johnson company, applauds the fact that osteoarthritis treatment has received new emphasis from health professionals in recent years. As America ages, Dr. Temple said people need to be aware of osteoarthritis and the many options for managing its symptoms. There is no known cure for the progressive disease.

Kenneth D. Brandt, M.D., Professor of Medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine and one of the country’s leading rheumatologists, said non-pharmocologic measures are the keystone of treatment of osteoarthritis pain.

“For example, exercise to strengthen the muscles which surround the arthritic joint, weight loss, if the patient is obese, and instruction in joint protection principles provide the foundation for the treatment of patients with pain due to knee osteoarthritis,” Dr. Brandt said. “For many patients with osteoarthritis, when used within the context of a comprehensive treatment program such as this, acetaminophen may be the only drug required for the relief of joint pain.”

The new guidelines for the treatment of osteoarthritis are published in the September edition of Arthritis and Rheumatism.

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