Tenoxicam is a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory (NSAID). It can be taken orally in pill form or it can be injected into the joint. Direct delivery is called intraarticular injection. In either method, it provides pain relief and has antiinflammatory effects.
Some NSAIDs cause stomach upset and gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding when taken orally. Bypassing the GI system and giving the medication directly to the joint may be a good idea. It is one that is under investigation at this time.
Patients who have signs of acute synovitis are the most likely candidates for this type of treatment. Synovitis is the term doctors use to describe inflammation of the lining of the joints.
Fluid collection from the inflammatory process causes swelling. Swelling puts pressure on all of the nerve tissue and soft tissue resulting in pain. If the inflammation isn't controlled, the joint can start to break down.
A recent study comparing oral versus intraarticular injection of tenoxicam showed that treatment by injection gives faster pain relief. And patients who received the injection had fewer flare-ups in the 12 months after treatment.
No one in the study had any bad side effects from the injection. Further studies will be done to verify these findings. If it turns out that locally delivered tenoxicam can regulate the synovium, then it may be possible to use this treatment to prevent future flare-up episodes.