Is Diclofenac better than opioid drugs such as morphine, oxycontin, codeine, tramadol for knee arthritis pain ?


Diclofenac is sometimes overlooked as a pain killer before people go on to stronger morphine-like prescription pain killers.

A study published in BMJ suggests that Diclofenac tablets take by mouth is effective for pain due to arthritis.

Overall, Diclofenac, taken by mouth, seem to be effective and generally safer than Opiod drugs. But caution is needed particularly in elderly people with multiple other medical problems.

Interestingly, Diclofenac Cream applied over the skin and Joints seem to be particularly effective for Knee arthritis pain.

Applying the cream also overcomes the problem of Diclofenac side effects, since very little of Diclofenac reaches other parts of the body.

The authors recommend Diclofenac Skin Cream as first line pharmacological treatment for knee osteoarthritis.


BMJ. Effectiveness and safety of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and opioid treatment for knee and hip osteoarthritis: network meta-analysis
BMJ 2021; 375 doi: (Published 12 October 2021)
Cite this as: BMJ 2021;375:n2321

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