Australian scientists have warned that the popular painkiller paracetamol is not effective for back and joint pain.
A study published in British medical journal has concluded that this medicine cannot reduce disability and also cannot improve the standard of life.Instead scientists have warned that it can cause liver failure.
The British National Health Service will alter its recommendations after this research. But it currently recommends the use of paracetamol for both diseases.
Experts say that patients should consult their doctors before changing their medications. Back pain is the leading cause of disability and an estimated half a million people in the UK are affected each year.
A team of scientists at the University of Sydney, 13 clinical trials of medicines were evaluated;. After that they concluded that paracetamol in ineffective at treating back pain.
On the other hand, paracetamol provides minimal short-term benefit for people who have hip and knee pain.
Gustavo Machado, one of the researchers, said: “Paracetamol is the most widely used medicine for musculoskeletal conditions so it is important that we review treatment recommendations in light of this new evidence.” Our research found that paracetamol used for arthritis and lower back pain can cause liver problems.
With the use of paracetamol patients were nearly four times more likely to have abnormal results on liver tests
Dr Christian Mallen, from Keele University in the UK, said people should go for non-drug option “exercise” rather than taking medicines for treatment.
However, he said, for the treatment of pain in joints and lower back pain, exercise is the best treatment, but we know that it is difficult to follow an exercise routine for people.
Jane Tadman from Arthritis Research UK said: “We’ve known for some time that paracetamol doesn’t work for everyone having severe pain from their arthritis, but some people find it helps them and allows them to sleep and to exercise without distress.
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