Celebrex vs. EuflexxaWith all the buzz (some good but mostly bad) about Celebrex out there, it’s surprising how few people seem to be aware of an alternative arthritis treatment called Euflexxa.

I just ran a Google search on the two terms, and while Celebrex returned 11,300,000 results, Euflexxa came back with just 14,800. That’s a shame.

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More than 10 million Americans have osteoarthritis of the knee; it’s one of the most common forms of arthritis. Until recently, the most patients could hope for was to manage the pain and inflammation with drugs ranging from (on the mild end) acetaminophen up to (on the severe end) Celebrex. With Celebrex, of course, patients also had to weigh the benefits vs. the well-publicized risks.

In December 2004, the FDA approved Euflexxa as a new treatment for knee osteoarthritis. Produced by Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Euflexxa is a hyaluronic acid (HA) derivative that is injected into the knee; it works by increasing the ability of the fluid within the joint to act as a lubricant and shock absorber. HA is a natural substance found in healthy knee joints. Studies consistently have shown the treatment’s effectiveness.

Obviously, every patient responds to medications and treatments differently. But if you have knee pain and have only seen a general practitioner rather than a specialist, it’s possible he or she may not even be aware of Euflexxa. So do yourself a favor and investigate it.