Palmitoylethanolamide shows benefit in knee osteoarthritis

  • Steels E & al.
  • Inflammopharmacology
  • 29/03/2019

  • Miriam Davis, PhD
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) improved function and reduced pain, stiffness, and anxiety without serious toxicity in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of patients with knee osteoarthritis (KOA).

Why this matters

  • PEA has the potential to be a natural, nontoxic, and targeted treatment option for KOA.

Study design

  • RCT of 111 patients with mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis, receiving 300 mg PEA, 600 mg PEA, or placebo daily for 8 weeks.
  • Function was assessed by the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC).
  • Funding: None disclosed.

Key results

  • Efficacy at week 8, with each PEA dose compared with placebo:
    • Reduction in WOMAC total score: 300 mg, P=.037; 600 mg, P=.001.
    • Reduction in WOMAC pain subscore: 300 mg, P=.007; 600 mg, P<.001.>
    • Reduction in WOMAC stiffness subscore: 300 mg. P=.049; 600 mg, P=.001.
    • Reduction in WOMAC function subscore: 300 mg, NS; 600 mg, P=.003.
    • Reduction in anxiety on the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale: 300 mg, P=.042; 600 mg, P=.043.
  • Safety at week 8, with each PEA dose compared with placebo:
    • No differences in erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP).
    • No differences in numerous biochemical and hematological parameters.
    • No reports of serious toxicity.

Limitations

  • No reporting of nonserious adverse events.
  • Single-center study.