Paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications are effective and commonly used treatments for knee arthritis. Their short-term use is recommended to help settle pain, enabling commencement of an exercise/strengthening program which will provide long term improvement in symptoms. If you choose to take analgesic medications, please first check that there are no contraindications for you to trial it.
- The slow release version is recommended for arthritis (e.g. Panadol, Osteo)
- Similarly effective to anti-inflammatory medication with less chance of side effects (e.g. stomach ulcer, kidney impairment)
Can be combined with anti-inflammatory medication for short periods for intense pain.
- A recent systematic review in the Annals of Rheumatic Disease have shown higher rates of cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal upset and kidney impairment with long term usage. For this reason, long term use is discouraged and ideally should cease, or continued at the lowest possible dose, being once per day rather than 2-3 times per day.
- Effective pain relief for short periods.
- With long term use, higher rates of cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and kidney impairment.
- Despite Paracetamol also being associated with these issues, rates are lower, and therefore Paracetamol is preferred for longer term use.