A randomized, double-blind, comparative clinical study was conducted to compare the safety and efficacy of castor oil with diclofenac sodium in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Subjects with symptoms of knee osteoarthritis were given a castor oil capsule 0.9 mL (n = 50) thrice daily for 4 weeks or a capsule of diclofenac sodium (n = 50), 50 mg thrice daily for 4 weeks. The subjects completed an overall evaluation of symptom relief at 2 weeks and 4 weeks of completed treatment. The subjects were evaluated by clinical, routine laboratory and radiographic investigations for improvement of disease conditions and also for adverse drug reaction. On completion of 4 weeks treatment it was observed that both drugs were significantly effective in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis (p < 0.001) and adverse drug reactions were high with diclofenac sodium, whereas with castor oil there were no adverse effects reported. The present study indicates that castor oil can be used as an effective therapy in primary knee osteoarthritis.
(c) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.