Ketoprofen Safe, Effective Pain Management for Rheumatoid Arthritis

hands with rheumatoid arthritis holding pills
hands with rheumatoid arthritis holding pills
Ketoprofen was found to be effective in relieving moderate to severe pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

LAS VEGAS — Therapeutic ketoprofen may provide greater efficacy than ibuprofen for patients with moderate to severe pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to results from a meta-analysis presented at PAINWeek 2017.1

As the most common chronic inflammatory arthritis in developed nations, RA affects approximately 0.5% to 1% of adults.2 The pain associated with RA can minimize mobility, decrease sleep duration and quality, and greatly reduce overall quality of life.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ketoprofen and ibuprofen, are often used to manage chronic pain in patients with RA and osteoarthritis. Efficacy, safety, and tolerability are factors that influence their continued use in RA-related pain care.

In this meta-analysis, researchers aimed to evaluate the clinical efficacy differences between ketoprofen and ibuprofen among patients with RA-related pain. Additional analyses involved examining the differences between the two therapies in regard to safety, tolerability, and risk-benefit profiles. Prior to demonstrating their findings, the researchers explained the study’s rationale by describing their previous meta-analysis that demonstrated “ketoprofen was superior to ibuprofen in relieving different kinds of moderate-to-severe pain conditions.”

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The researchers identified 456 patients who received ketoprofen (150 to 300 mg/d) and ibuprofen (1200 to 1800 mg/d) across 4 randomized controlled trials. Significantly greater efficacy was observed in the ketoprofen group at all point estimates (standardized mean differences 0.33; 95% CI, 0.1-0.52; P =.0005). No significant differences were found between the two groups in the tolerability (risk ratio=1.05; [-0.83-1.33] M-H, fixed, 95% CI) or safety analyses.

The authors concluded that this study demonstrates the potential superiority of ketoprofen compared with ibuprofen in this patient cohort, “thus supporting its use in clinical practice, with the same safety profile.”

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  1. Atzeni F, Bagnasco M, Lanata L, et al. Efficacy and safety of ketoprofen vs ibuprofen for the treatment of pain in rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Presented at: PainWeek 2017. Las Vegas, NV; September 5-9, 2017. Poster 55.
  2. Sanmartí R, Ruiz-Esquide V, Hernández MV. Rheumatoid arthritis: a clinical overview of new diagnostic and treatment approaches. Curr Top Med Chem. 2013;13(6):698-704.