Diacerein is a medicine that belongs to the anthraquinone class and is used to treat the symptoms associated with degenerative diseases of the bones and joints. It is used to relieve pain and swelling associated with Osteoarthritis. This medicine is slow acting and is used as a long-term treatment option for osteoarthritis.
Due to the risks associated with severe diarrhoea, diacerein is no longer recommended in patients aged 65 years and above. It is also advised that patients start treatment on half the normal dose (i.e. 50 mg daily instead of 100 mg) and should stop taking diacerein if diarrhoea occurs.
In addition, diacerein-containing medicines must now not be used in any patient with liver disease or a history of liver disease, and doctors should be monitoring their patients for early signs of liver problems.
Doctors should also note that, based on available data, the use of diacerein is to be limited to treating symptoms of osteoarthritis affecting the hip or knee. Treatment should only be started by doctors experienced in treating osteoarthritis.
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