Harvard Women's Health Watch

By the way, doctor: Are NSAIDs available in a patch?

Q. I understand that NSAID patches are used in Europe to treat some kinds of arthritis. Are they available in the United States?

A. Several topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are available without prescription in Europe. They're used to treat acute and chronic pain from strains, sprains, and sports injuries, as well as conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Some of these topical NSAIDs have been shown to be effective and to cause less heartburn and other gastrointestinal symptoms than the same drugs taken by mouth.

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