Unlocking Relief: Old Affordable Drug, New Hope in Hand Osteoarthritis

By: | October 21st, 2023

Image by Pixabay

Hand osteoarthritis is a common, painful condition, particularly affecting women as they age. As the cartilage wears away in finger and thumb joints, it leads to pain, stiffness, and reduced function. The risk of developing hand OA rises with age. By the age of 85, approximately 50% of women and 25% of men will encounter symptoms of hand osteoarthritis.

At present, hand osteoarthritis has no known cure, but there’s promising news!

A joint research by Monash University and Alfred Health has discovered that an affordable existing drug could provide relief for individuals with painful hand osteoarthritis. Until this breakthrough, effective treatment options were lacking, offering hope for improved management of this condition.

New Hope: Methotrexate for Hand Osteoarthritis

The research discovered that methotrexate, a readily accessible and cost-effective medication typically recommended as a primary treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, effectively alleviates pain and stiffness experienced by individuals with hand osteoarthritis. Methotrexate has been in extensive global use since the early 1980s.

Promising Results: Methotrexate Eases Hand Osteoarthritis Symptoms

Researchers discovered that a weekly oral dose of 20mg of methotrexate over a six-month period had a beneficial effect in reducing pain and stiffness in patients suffering from symptomatic hand osteoarthritis (OA).

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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