Hydroxychloroquine ‘no help for hand osteoarthritis’

Using hydroxychloroquine for pain relief in hand osteoarthritis brings no benefit over placebo, a UK clinical trial shows.

Nearly 250 adult patients with moderate to severe hand osteoarthritis and an inadequate response to paracetamol, NSAIDs or opioids were randomised to either hydroxychloroquine (6.5mg/kg) or placebo for a year.

The primary end-point was hand pain over the preceding fortnight, reported on a 0-10 numerical rating scale after six months’ treatment.

At six months, mean hand pain was 5.66 points in the hydroxychloroquine group and 5.49 points in the