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OBJECTIVES: To examine trends in the initial prescription of commonly-prescribed analgesics and patient- as well as practice-level factors related to their selection in incident OA. METHODS: Patients consulting with incident clinical OA between 2000-2016 were identified within The Health Improvement Network in the United Kingdom (UK) general practice. Excluded were patients who had history of cancer or were prescribed the analgesics of interest within 6 months before diagnosis of OA. Initial analgesic prescription included oral non-selective NSAID, oral selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor, topical NSAID, paracetamol, topical salicylate or oral/transdermal opioid within 1 month after OA diagnosis. RESULTS: ∼44% of patients with incident OA (n = 125 696) were prescribed one of these analgesics. Incidence of oral NSAID prescriptions decreased whereas other analgesic prescriptions, including oral opioid prescriptions, increased (all P-for-trend 

Original publication




Journal article


Rheumatology (Oxford)

Publication Date





147 - 159


United Kingdom, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, opioid, osteoarthritis, Acetaminophen, Administration, Cutaneous, Administration, Oral, Aged, Analgesics, Analgesics, Opioid, Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal, Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors, Female, Gastrointestinal Agents, Gastrointestinal Diseases, Humans, Incidence, Male, Middle Aged, Osteoarthritis, Salicylates, Socioeconomic Factors, Time Factors, United Kingdom