Paracetamol has no effect on back pain: study

The double-blind trial was conducted at 235 primary care centres in Sydney between November 2011 and March 2013. 

The researchers from the George Institute for Global Health at the University of Sydney randomly allocated 1652 patients with acute lower back pain to receive either regular doses of paracetamol three times a day for up to four weeks (equivalent to 3990mg per day), as-needed doses of paracetamol (taken when needed and up to 4000mg per day), or placebo. 

Patients recorded medication and pain scores on a 0–10 scale in a daily diary.

The researchers found that the median time to recovery – defined as the first day of pain intensity of 0 or 1 maintained for seven days – was 17 days in both the groups taking paracetamol and 16 days in the placebo group.
Paracetamol also had no effect on short-term pain levels, disability, function, quality of life or sleep quality in either the regular group or the as-needed

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