Researchers have warned thatParacetamol,a widely used over-the-counter medicine and often recommended treatment for musculoskeletal conditions, is ineffective at treating back pain and osteoarthritis.
A team at the University of Sydney assessed data from 13 drug trials involving more than 5,000 patients.They concluded that Paracetamol was "ineffective" at reducing back pain.In osteoarthritis in the hip or knee, they found a small improvement with Paracetamol.
Yet the impact was so small it was "not clinically important" and moreover it was found to increase the odds of liver problems.
In light of this new evidence and given the wide use of Paracetamol, it is critical for peopleto review their treatment recommendations.Physical activity is probably a better and more effective way of keeping the pain of arthritis and joint pain at bay than taking currently available painkillers.
Dr. Christian Mallen, from Keele University in the UK, said "While the effectiveness of exercise for both osteoarthritis and spinal pain is established, we know that uptake of and adherence to exercise is poor."
Anybody with concerns about whether taking Paracetamol could cause harm should discuss their concerns with their pharmacist.