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In praise of... NHS Evidence – musculoskeletal

Issue 29 Synovium (Spring 2010)

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Synovium readers may also enjoy and find useful the e-newsletter of the ‘NHS Evidence – musculoskeletal’ specialist collection, and indeed their website library where you may sign up for the newsletter. In the January 2010 newsletter there is another and larger review of the evidence for the effectiveness of the nutriceuticals glucosamine and chondroitin in slowing the progression of osteoarthritis. (And we know how much interest glucosamine generates among Synovium readers from the volume of emails in the editorial inbox.) The results – limited evidence for glucosamine sulphate, little or inconsistent evidence for other glucosamine salts and chondroitin – are similar to those we have previously reported from manufacturer-sponsored trials in non-UK populations. There is also a review of the efficacy of opiate drugs in relieving the pain of osteoarthritis of the knee and hip: modest benefits and significant adverse effects, no great differences in either benefits or adverse effects between different opiates or modes of delivery (oral or transdermal) – in other words, best avoided.

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