New study - Paracetamol doesn't work for lower back pain

Paracetamol (Acetaminophen) does not stop lower back pain or help the ache of arthritis and doctors should consider prescribing exercise instead, a major review has found.

Researchers looked at 13 randomised controlled studies that looked at the effects of paracetamol use compared with a placebo. The team led by The George Institute for Global Health at the University of Sydney analysed what effect paracetamol had on the reduction of pain intensity, improvement of disability and quality of life, as well as safety and patient adherence, compared to a placebo.

Paracetamol was found to be no better than placebo for lower back pain, and have "small but not clinically important benefits" for people with osteoarthritis.

Paracetamol was also shown to be associated with higher risk of liver toxicity in patients.

The study authors said their review should inform clinical and policy for those who suffer from lower back pain and osteoarthritis.

The report can be found here

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