FLEXISEQ is a gel containing very small particles but no drug. It’s used for osteoarthritis, particularly of the knee.
We asked an independent panel of experts in rheumatology, complementary medicines and nutrition to search and evaluate evidence on the safety and effectiveness of FLEXISEQ. Their assessment showed that from the scientific studies available we don’t yet understand how it works or whether it’s more effective than a completely inactive gel rubbed on to the knee.
We also don’t yet have enough information to say whether there any important safety issues, given the fairly small number of patients studied in the published clinical trials of FLEXISEQ to date.
FLEXISEQ was first developed to carry drugs directly into the knee in order to ease the symptoms of osteoarthritis. It was then used as a comparative for studies in which some preparations were carrying active drug to the knee joint. Trial results have suggested that the particles may have positive effects when they don’t contain any drug.
How does it work?
The manufacturers of FLEXISEQ claim that as the gel begins to dry, the very small particles seek out water and move through the skin into the knee joint. They claim that these particles attach themselves to cartilage, which helps to ‘lubricate’ the joint, reducing joint stiffness and helping with pain.
Other possible ways that it might work are that the particles absorb inflammatory chemicals or break down into chemicals which reduce inflammation and pain.
There haven’t been any scientific studies reported which have directly examined these theories, so at the moment we don’t understand how it might work.