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TNF Blockers Fail to Relieve Pain Associated With Hand Osteoarthritis

By November 12, 2012

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Researchers in France compared the effectiveness of TNF blockers and NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for controlling hand pain associated with osteoarthritis. The study, called DORA (digital osteoarthritis in refractory hand OA), included patients who met the American College of Rheumatology criteria for hand osteoarthritis and did not find relief using pain medications and NSAIDs.

In the study, which was presented at the 2012 American College of Rheumatology annual meeting, 85 patients were randomly assigned to two groups. One group was treated with Humira (two injections, one at beginning of trial and the second week of the trial) while the other group was treated with a placebo. Patients were followed for 26 weeks. After 6 weeks, researchers found minimal difference in pain scores between the Humira and placebo groups. Between weeks 0 and 26, the only difference between the two groups was in the number of swollen joint counts. Researchers concluded that TNF blockers failed to improve severe pain associated with hand osteoarthritis.

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