Friday, May 22, 2015Friday, May 22, 2015

Paracetamol no better than placebo in low-back pain: Study

Published on Jul 24, 2014 7:14 AM
Paracetamol - the painkiller of choice for many with lower-back pain - worked no better than dummy drugs, researchers found. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

PARIS (AFP) - Paracetamol, the first-choice lower-back pain killer, worked no better than dummy drugs administered in a trial of more than 1,600 people suffering from the condition, researchers said on Thursday.

In fact, the median recovery time for those on placebo was a day shorter than that for trial subjects given real medicine, they wrote in The Lancet medical journal.

"Our findings suggest that... paracetamol does not affect recovery time compared with placebo in low-back pain, and question the universal endorsement of paracetamol in this patient group," the Australian team concluded.

"Paracetamol also had no effect on pain, disability, function, global symptom change, sleep or quality of life." Lower-back pain is the leading cause of disability in the world, and paracetamol is "universally" recommended as the treatment of first choice, said a statement carried by The Lancet.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!