Osteoarthritis, Knee | The Effect of Spironolactone on Pain in Older People With Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis, Knee research study

What is the primary objective of this study?

This pilot study will obtain preliminary evidence on which to base sample size calculations for a future trial of whether spironolactone (an aldosterone blocker) reduces knee pain in older people with symptomatic OA knee when given in addition to usual analgesia. Aldosterone is known to be pro-inflammatory, and spironolactone suppresses cytokine production in chronic arthritis. This application builds on previous work by the applicants showing that spironolactone significantly improved quality of life (particularly pain) in frail older people. The investigators will recruit 86 people (aged 70 years or over) with well-defined OA knee to 25mg spironolactone daily or to matching placebo for 12 weeks. The primary outcome is the between group difference in change in WOMAC pain sub-score at 12 weeks. Secondary outcomes are the WOMAC stiffness and physical function subscales and health related quality of life (EQ-5D). Morning cortisol levels will be measured to assess the effect of mineralocorticoid receptor blockade on glucocorticoid levels, which may mediate the anti-inflammatory effect of spironolactone; and urinary CTX-II, and serum matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3) will be measured as biomarkers as both are sensitive to the effects of pharmacological interventions for osteoarthritis.

Who is eligible to participate?

Inclusion Criteria: 1. Participant is willing and able to give informed consent 2. Community dwelling 3. Aged 70 years and over 4. Symptomatic idiopathic OA knee according to American College of Rheumatology clinical and radiographic criteria (ie Knee pain - with or without crepitus and presence of osteophytes on x ray) 5. To avoid floor effects, participants will require to have moderate (or more severe) pain at screening in at least 2 out of 5 WOMAC pain score items 6. To have been in receipt (prescription or/and over the counter) of one or more analgesic agents at a therapeutic dose for at least 2 months 7. Willing to have knee x-ray if one has not been taken in preceding 12 months Exclusion Criteria: 1. Clinical diagnosis of symptomatic heart failure 2. History of inflammatory arthritis 3. Already taking spironolactone 4. Previous intolerance to spironolactone 5. Known allergies to spironolactone or lactose 6. Objection to taking capsules made from animal sourced gelatine 7. Taking oral NSAIDs (because of the increased risk of renal impairment when combined with spironolactone) 8. Taking ACE inhibitors or ARBs (angiotensin II receptor antagonists). ARBs have many properties similar to those of ACE inhibitors. Both will be exclusion because of the increased risk of acute kidney injury and hyperkalaemia, and because our previous study also excluded those on ACE inhibitors (and ARBs) and treatment was safe and well tolerated. 9. Supine hypotension (supine systolic blood pressure <100mmHg at screening) 10. Significant chronic kidney disease (eGFR<40ml/min) 11. Serum sodium<130mmol/l 12. Serum potassium>5.0mmol/l 13. Symptomatic orthostatic hypotension (measured at screening) 14. Nursing home resident 15. Wheelchair bound 16. Participating in another clinical trial (other than observational trials and registries) concurrently or within 30 days prior to screening for entry into this study 17. Known contraindication to spironolactone therapy 18. Participant who is terminally ill, defined as less than 3 months expected survival

Which medical condition, disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury is researched?

Osteoarthritis, Knee

Study Interventions

Interventions can include giving participants drugs, medical devices, procedures, vaccines, and other products that are either investigational or already available or noninvasive approaches such as surveys, education, and interviews.

Drug:spironolactonespironolactone 25mg daily for 12 weeks

Study Arms

Research studies and clinical trials typically have two or more research arms. An arm is a group of people who receive the same treatment in the study.

spironolactone25mg spironolactone daily

PlaceboMatched Placebo

Study Status

Unknown status

Start Date: November 2013

Completed Date: May 2015

Phase: Phase 4

Type: Interventional


Primary Outcome: Between group difference in change in WOMAC pain subscale (5 items)

Secondary Outcome: Between group difference in change in WOMAC stiffness subscale.

Study sponsors, principal investigator, and references

Principal Investigator: Marion ET McMurdo, MBChB, MD

Lead Sponsor: University of Dundee

Collaborator: Arthritis Research UK

More information:

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