Osteoarthritis Prescribing Habits in the Western Region of Saudi Arabia

Hamid M. Mustafa


Objective: Osteoarthritis prescribing habits in Western Region of KSA and whether they match the guidelines or not.
Methods: Qualitative using structured questionnaire via face to face interviews, the study included 100 doctors interfering with OA management. Interviews were conducted in Jeddah & Mecca Hospitals between July and December 2012.

Results: 71% of doctors mentioned that they depend on their personal experience and don’t follow International Guidelines (p value < 0.05).
All doctors use both Non-pharmacological and Pharmacological measures in the treatment of OA. Non-pharmacological measures are weight reduction (96%), patient’s education (74%), exercise (73%), heat / ice application (39%) and rest (31%).

81% of doctors mentioned that they start treatment with mono-therapy in the form of NSAIDs (36 – 44.44%) which is not matching the guidelines, followed by Paracetamol (32– 39.51%) and Celecoxib (10– 12.35%).
14% mentioned that they start treatment with combined therapy. The most common combination is Glucosamine + Diclophenac/ Celecoxib (4-28.57%) followed by Paracetamol + NSAIDs (3 - 21.43%), Ibuprofen/ Diclophenac + Celecoxib (3-21.43%) and Paracetamol + Celecoxib (2 - 14.29%).

Conclusions: Non-pharmacological measures recommended by doctors are weight Reduction, patient education, physiotherapy, exercise, heat application, and ice therapy, which match the international guidelines. Pharmacological measures in form of NSAIDs whether selective or non-selective are the 1st line choice for doctors unlike the international guidelines that recommend Paracetamol as 1st line.


Doctors, Treatment, Knee, Recommended and International Guidelines

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