A daily dose of strontium ranelate may delay the progression of knee osteoarthritis and may improve knee pain, joint damage and the need for joint surgery, according to study results. Strontium ranelate, which is approved in about 100 countries for the treatment of post-menopausual osteoporosis, has been proven to prevent vertebral and hip fractures in patients with osteoporosis. Marketed as Protelos or Protos by Servier, it is not approved in the United States.
In the Strontium Ranelate Knee Osteoarthritis Trial, there were 1,683 study participants with primary symptomatic knee osteoarthritis randomized to receive one of two doses of strontium ranelate (1 or 2 grams daily) or placebo. The study took place over 3 years and researchers evaluated joint damage using digital x-rays, cartilage loss, pain, stiffness, and changes in physical function. The study results, which were presented at the 2012 annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, showed that strontium ranelate was associated with a decrease in joint damage and was effective in reducing joint pain and improving joint function compared to placebo. There is currently no medication that has been approved for preventing the structural progression of osteoarthritis.
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