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      Efficacy, tolerability, and safety of an oral enzyme combination vs diclofenac in osteoarthritis of the knee: results of an individual patient-level pooled reanalysis of data from six randomized controlled trials

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          To compare efficacy, safety, and tolerability of an oral enzyme combination (OEC) containing proteolytic enzymes and bioflavonoid vs diclofenac (DIC), a nonselective nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee.

          Materials and methods

          This was an individual patient-level pooled reanalysis of patient-reported data from prospective, randomized, double-blind, parallel-group studies in adult patients with moderate-to-severe osteoarthritis of the knee treated for at least 3 weeks with OEC or DIC. Appropriate trials were identified with a systemic literature and database search. Data were extracted from the original case-report forms and reanalyzed by a blinded evaluation committee. The primary end point was the improvement of the Lequesne algofunctional index (LAFI) score at study end vs baseline. Secondary end points addressed LAFI response rates, treatment-related pain-intensity changes, adverse events, and laboratory parameters.


          Six trials were identified that enrolled in total 774 patients, of whom 759 had post-baseline data for safety analysis, 697 (n=348/349 with OEC/DIC) for intent to treat, 524 for per protocol efficacy analysis, and 500 for laboratory evaluation. LAFI scores – the primary efficacy end point – decreased comparably with both treatments and improved with both treatments significantly vs baseline (OEC 12.6±2.4 to 9.1±3.9, DIC 12.7±2.4 to 9.1±4.2, effect size 0.9/0.88; P<0.001 for each). In parallel, movement-related 11-point numeric rating-scale pain intensity improved significantly ( P<0.001) and comparably with both treatments from baseline (6.4±1.9/6.6±1.8) to study end (3.8±2.7/3.9±2.5). Overall, 55/81 OEC/DIC patients of the safety-analysis population (14.7%/21.1%, P=0.022) reported 90/133 treatment-emergent adverse events, followed by premature treatment discontinuations in 22/39 patients (5.9%/10.2%, P=0.030). Changes in laboratory parameters were significantly less with OEC vs DIC: on average 18.8% vs 86.3% of patients presented a decrease with respect to hemoglobin, hematocrit, or erythrocyte count ( P<0.001), and 28.2% vs 72.6% showed an increase in AST, ALT, or GGT ( P<0.001).


          When compared with DIC, OEC showed comparable efficacy and a superior tolerability/safety profile associated with a significantly lower risk of treatment-emergent adverse events, related study discontinuations, and changes in laboratory parameters.

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          Most cited references 79

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          OARSI recommendations for the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis, Part II: OARSI evidence-based, expert consensus guidelines.

          To develop concise, patient-focussed, up to date, evidence-based, expert consensus recommendations for the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis (OA), which are adaptable and designed to assist physicians and allied health care professionals in general and specialist practise throughout the world. Sixteen experts from four medical disciplines (primary care, rheumatology, orthopaedics and evidence-based medicine), two continents and six countries (USA, UK, France, Netherlands, Sweden and Canada) formed the guidelines development team. A systematic review of existing guidelines for the management of hip and knee OA published between 1945 and January 2006 was undertaken using the validated appraisal of guidelines research and evaluation (AGREE) instrument. A core set of management modalities was generated based on the agreement between guidelines. Evidence before 2002 was based on a systematic review conducted by European League Against Rheumatism and evidence after 2002 was updated using MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, AMED, the Cochrane Library and HTA reports. The quality of evidence was evaluated, and where possible, effect size (ES), number needed to treat, relative risk or odds ratio and cost per quality-adjusted life years gained were estimated. Consensus recommendations were produced following a Delphi exercise and the strength of recommendation (SOR) for propositions relating to each modality was determined using a visual analogue scale. Twenty-three treatment guidelines for the management of hip and knee OA were identified from the literature search, including six opinion-based, five evidence-based and 12 based on both expert opinion and research evidence. Twenty out of 51 treatment modalities addressed by these guidelines were universally recommended. ES for pain relief varied from treatment to treatment. Overall there was no statistically significant difference between non-pharmacological therapies [0.25, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.16, 0.34] and pharmacological therapies (ES=0.39, 95% CI 0.31, 0.47). Following feedback from Osteoarthritis Research International members on the draft guidelines and six Delphi rounds consensus was reached on 25 carefully worded recommendations. Optimal management of patients with OA hip or knee requires a combination of non-pharmacological and pharmacological modalities of therapy. Recommendations cover the use of 12 non-pharmacological modalities: education and self-management, regular telephone contact, referral to a physical therapist, aerobic, muscle strengthening and water-based exercises, weight reduction, walking aids, knee braces, footwear and insoles, thermal modalities, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and acupuncture. Eight recommendations cover pharmacological modalities of treatment including acetaminophen, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) non-selective and selective oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), topical NSAIDs and capsaicin, intra-articular injections of corticosteroids and hyaluronates, glucosamine and/or chondroitin sulphate for symptom relief; glucosamine sulphate, chondroitin sulphate and diacerein for possible structure-modifying effects and the use of opioid analgesics for the treatment of refractory pain. There are recommendations covering five surgical modalities: total joint replacements, unicompartmental knee replacement, osteotomy and joint preserving surgical procedures; joint lavage and arthroscopic debridement in knee OA, and joint fusion as a salvage procedure when joint replacement had failed. Strengths of recommendation and 95% CIs are provided. Twenty-five carefully worded recommendations have been generated based on a critical appraisal of existing guidelines, a systematic review of research evidence and the consensus opinions of an international, multidisciplinary group of experts. The recommendations may be adapted for use in different countries or regions according to the availability of treatment modalities and SOR for each modality of therapy. These recommendations will be revised regularly following systematic review of new research evidence as this becomes available.
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                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                04 November 2016
                : 9
                : 941-961
                [1 ]Institute of Neurological Sciences, Nuremberg
                [2 ]Interdisciplinary Center for Pain and Palliative Care Medicine, Göppingen
                [3 ]Interdisciplinary Center for Rheumatology and Immunology, Frankfurt
                [4 ]O.Meany Consultancy, Hamburg, Germany
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Michael A Ueberall, Institute of Neurological Sciences, 51 Nordostpark, 90411 Nuremberg, Germany, Tel +49 911 2177 3760, Fax +49 911 2177 3761, Email michael.ueberall@ 123456ifnap.de
                © 2016 Ueberall et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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