This open, parallel-group, multicenter study enrolled 191 general practice patients with mild to moderate osteoarthritis (OA) who were taking oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). One group continued their usual NSAID treatment for 28 days without change in drug or dose. The other group reduced their dose of oral NSAID by a factor of two and concomitantly used 1 g of Feldene Gel, applied topically three or four times daily for 14 days. At the end of this period, if symptoms of OA remained controlled, the oral NSAID was stopped and patients used only the topical preparation for a further 14 days. Symptom scores as assessed by patients and investigators were similar for the two groups 14 and 28 days after Feldene Gel was started, except for tenderness and restriction of active movement. These parameters were significantly different in favor of the group treated topically. An assessment of quality of life also favored treatment with Feldene Gel. Both groups tolerated treatments well. Similar control of symptoms was observed in both groups when the oral NSAID was supplemented with Feldene Gel and when Feldene Gel was the only treatment.