OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine which analgesics are used by patients with osteoarthritis (OA)-related pain and how the analgesics are used in the preceding month. In addition, their beliefs about (pain) medication and the rationale of those declining to use analgesics were explored. METHODS: An online cross-sectional survey was sent to 1521 patients participating in the panel of the Dutch Arthritis Foundation. Descriptive analyses and logistic regression were used to analyze data. RESULTS: Of the 842 participants (56%) with OA that responded, 70% had generalized OA, 26% had concomitant fibromyalgia, and 34% had another musculoskeletal morbidity. Of all participants, 71% used analgesics, and 34% used more than 1 type. Analgesics were used for more than 14 days in the preceding month by most participants, with paracetamol being used most frequently (51%). Doses used were predominantly lower than the daily defined dose: 58.2% for paracetamol, 31.2% for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs/cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors, and 75.7% for weak opioids. Compared with participants with concomitant fibromyalgia or other musculoskeletal morbidities, participants with OA alone significantly more frequently declined to use analgesics (p < 0.01) and significantly less frequently used 2 or 3 types of analgesics (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: In this population with generalized OA and musculoskeletal comorbidities, medication use was high, and more than 1 type of analgesic was frequently used. Patients with concomitant fibromyalgia or other musculoskeletal morbidities more frequently used 2 or 3 types of analgesics; however, this use was often intermittent and in low doses. Medication use on a daily basis and at higher doses may lead to improved analgesic effect.

Additional Metadata
Keywords analgesics, fibromyalgia, musculoskeletal diseases, osteoarthritis, pain
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1097/RHU.0000000000000853, hdl.handle.net/1765/120134
Journal Journal of Clinical Rheumatology: practical reports on rheumatic & musculoskeletal diseases
Citation
van den Driest, J.J, Pijnenburg, P. (Patrick), Bindels, P.J.E, Bierma-Zeinstra, S.M, & Schiphof, D. (2019). Analgesic Use in Dutch Patients With Osteoarthritis: Frequent But Low Doses. Journal of Clinical Rheumatology: practical reports on rheumatic & musculoskeletal diseases, 25(7), 297–303. doi:10.1097/RHU.0000000000000853