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Former NBA Star Allan Houston Joins "Apply Yourself!" Campaign to Raise Awareness of Osteoarthritis Hand and Knee Pain

CHADDS FORD, Pa., May 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Endo Pharmaceuticals, a leading healthcare solutions company, today announced the launch of the "Apply Yourself!" Campaign, created to encourage people suffering from osteoarthritis (OA) hand and knee pain to make pain relief a top personal priority.  Former professional basketball player Allan Houston has joined the campaign to share his personal journey of how he approached his OA knee pain and developed a strategy in partnership with his physician, to help manage his condition. OA is the most common type of arthritis, affecting nearly 27 million Americans. Of these, more than 10 million have OA in their knees and nearly three million have symptomatic OA in their hands.

The "Apply Yourself!" Campaign serves as a call to action for the millions of OA hand and knee pain sufferers who have not made their health a personal priority. Allan Houston knows this struggle with procrastination and personal health all too well. The athlete, who was accustomed to regular physical activity, began to experience pain in his knees after games and intense workouts. He reasoned this was a temporary setback and decided to ignore his pain rather than to address it head on. The pain eventually became too much, which caused Allan to retire.

"As you age, OA can begin to break down your joints' protective cartilage, causing pain," said Dr. Christopher Gharibo, Medical Director of Pain Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology at New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases. "OA can start off with mild aches and pain, which can become more persistent and pronounced over time, which is why it's important to talk to a physician early to identify an appropriate treatment plan."

"While I knew I had an issue with pain in my knees, I didn't believe it required my immediate attention," said Allan. "Thankfully, my wife disagreed and encouraged me to make my health an urgent matter instead of an afterthought."

Allan visited his physician after retirement, who diagnosed him with OA of the knee and prescribed Voltaren® Gel (diclofenac sodium topical gel) 1% to help manage his OA knee pain. Voltaren Gel is a topical medication for the relief of OA joint pain in the knees, ankles, feet, elbows, wrists, and hands.

About Voltaren® Gel

Voltaren Gel is a topical medication for the relief of OA joint pain in the knees, ankles, feet, elbows, wrists, and hands. It is a smooth, non-greasy gel with a light fragrance that goes away shortly after it is applied and should be massaged in four times daily to help the medication levels remain stable throughout the day. People who use Voltaren Gel should try not to skip a dose and stay on therapy as directed by their healthcare provider, otherwise patients may not experience the full benefits of the product.  Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. has a licensing agreement with Novartis Consumer Health, Inc. and Novartis AG, granting Endo the exclusive U.S. marketing rights for Voltaren® Gel for the term of the agreement.

Indication for Voltaren® Gel

Voltaren Gel is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used for the relief of joint pain of osteoarthritis in the knees, ankles, feet, elbows, wrists, and hands. Voltaren Gel has not been studied for use on the spine, hip or shoulder.  

Important Safety Information

What is the most important information you should know about medicines called Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)?

NSAID medicines, like Voltaren Gel, may increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke that can lead to death. This chance increases:

  • with longer use of NSAID medicines
  • in people who have heart disease

NSAID medicines, like Voltaren Gel, should never be used right before or after a heart surgery called a "coronary artery bypass graft (CABG)."

NSAID medicines, like Voltaren Gel, can cause ulcers and bleeding in the stomach and intestines at any time during treatment.

  • Ulcers and bleeding can happen without warning symptoms and may cause death
  • The chance of a person getting an ulcer or bleeding increases with older age

NSAID medicines should only be used:

  • at the lowest dose possible for your treatment
  • for the shortest time needed

Do not use Voltaren Gel if you are allergic to diclofenac (the active ingredient in Voltaren Gel) or if you have had asthma, hives, or other allergic-type reactions after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs.

Tell your healthcare provider:

  • if you have a history of ulcers or bleeding in the stomach or intestines, or kidney or liver problems, or heart failure
  • about all of your medical conditions
  • about all of the medicines you take. NSAIDs and some other medicines can interact with each other and cause serious side effects
  • if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Voltaren Gel should not be used late in pregnancy

NSAIDs, including Voltaren Gel, can lead to high blood pressure or worsening of high blood pressure, which may add to the increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Possible serious side effects include life-threatening skin and allergic reactions.

Get emergency help right away if you have any of the following symptoms: shortness of breath or trouble breathing, chest pain, weakness in one side of your body, slurred speech, or swelling of the face or throat. Stop using Voltaren Gel and call your healthcare provider right away if you have: skin rash or fever with blisters.

Do not use Voltaren Gel on the same skin site that was treated with other topical products, such as sunscreens, cosmetics, lotions, moisturizers, or insect repellants.

Other information about NSAIDs:

  • Aspirin, which is an NSAID, can cause bleeding in the brain, stomach, and intestines. Aspirin can also cause ulcers in the stomach and intestines

You should not use Voltaren Gel with oral NSAIDs.

The most common side effects reported in studies using Voltaren Gel were application site reactions, including dermatitis (reported in 7% of treated patients).

Use Voltaren Gel exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.

  • Apply Voltaren Gel to clean, dry skin that does not have any cuts, infections, or rashes
  • Avoid exposing skin where you apply Voltaren Gel to sunlight and artificial light, such as tanning booths
  • Do not get Voltaren Gel in your eyes, nose, and mouth

Please see the full Prescribing Information for Voltaren Gel available at

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

About OA

OA is the most common type of arthritis and often occurs in the hands and knees, with pain as a common symptom.  The condition occurs when cartilage and its underlying bone begin to deteriorate.   A direct cause of OA has not been determined, but risk factors such as aging, joint injury or stress, heredity, and being overweight can lead to the disease.

About the "Apply Yourself!" campaign

The "Apply Yourself!" Campaign, a partnership between Allan Houston and Endo Pharmaceuticals, aims to raise awareness of OA hand and knee pain and encourages sufferers to make pain relief a top priority by visiting their doctor. For more information about the campaign, please visit

About Endo

Endo Pharmaceuticals is a U.S.-based, specialty healthcare solutions company, focused on high-value branded products and specialty generics. Endo is redefining its position in the healthcare marketplace by anticipating and embracing the evolution of health decisions based on the need for high-quality and cost-effective care. We aim to be the premier partner to healthcare professionals and payment providers, delivering an innovative suite of complementary diagnostics, drugs, devices and clinical data to meet the needs of patients in areas such as pain, urology, oncology and endocrinology. For more information about Endo Pharmaceuticals, and its wholly owned subsidiaries HealthTronics, Inc. and Qualitest Pharmaceuticals, please visit  

SOURCE Endo Pharmaceuticals
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