Knee osteoarthritis - a pathological basis for use of newer drug therapies

Mukundraj S. Keny, Sushama A. Bhounsule, Padmanabh V. Rataboli


Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a disease of the whole knee joint occurring due to an interaction between inflammatory, hypoxic, and mechanical pathways. Initial management includes monotherapy with analgesics or anti‑inflammatory agents, eventually switching over to combination therapy with steroids and/or newer drugs. Cardiovascular risks associated with non‑steroidal anti‑inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) limit their long term use. Hence, novel target receptors or pathways, which remain unaffected by conventional therapy and modify disease are being increasingly looked for. Newer drugs such as glucosamine, chondroitin, methylsulfonylmethane, diacerein along with vitamins/minerals are commonly used as adjuncts to NSAIDs or as monotherapy. Because of their novel mechanisms of action and better safety profile they seem to be promising as disease modifying agents in the treatment of OA. Google, PubMed, Cochrane databases and Science Direct search was performed, and relevant articles were identified. This review focuses on the pathological targets which these drugs modify in order to bring about a symptom modifying effect.


Knee osteoarthritis, Pathological targets, Newer drugs

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