Popular Pain Medication No Better Than a Placebo…

6 Nov

You may find this shocking, especially if you take Tylenol — also known as acetaminophen or paracetamol — in an effort to relieve your back pain. A new study in The Lancet (July 24, 2014) begins with, “Regular paracetamol is the recommended first-line analgesic for acute low-back pain; however, no high-quality evidence supports this recommendation. We aimed to assess the efficacy of paracetamol taken regularly or as-needed to improve time for recovery from pain, compared with placebo in patients with low-back pain.”
Wow. It’s 2014 and acetaminophen is often the first thing recommended for low-back pain, and there is no scientific evidence it helps.
What did the study discover? Using data from 235 primary care centers in Australia collected between 2009 and 2013, the researchers write, “Our findings suggest that regular or as-needed dosing with paracetamol does not affect recovery time compared with placebo in low-back pain, and question the universal endorsement of paracetamol in this patient group.”

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