POEMs

Acetaminophen (Paracetamol) Minimally Effective for Back Pain and Osteoarthritis

 


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Am Fam Physician. 2015 Oct 1;92(7):642.

Clinical Question

Is acetaminophen (paracetamol) effective for the treatment of low back pain or osteoarthritis?

Bottom Line

Although acetaminophen was hoped to be a safer alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and opioids for the treatment of common musculoskeletal problems, on average it provides only minimal pain relief and improvement in function for patients with low back pain or osteoarthritis. Some persons may benefit with full dosages of acetaminophen but most will not. (Level of Evidence = 1a)

Synopsis

To identify all randomized controlled trials, the authors searched nine databases,

POEMs (patient-oriented evidence that matters) are provided by EssentialEvidence Plus, a point-of-care clinical decision support system published by Wiley-Blackwell. For more information, please see http://www.essentialevidenceplus.com. Copyright Wiley-Blackwell. Used with permission.

For definitions of levels of evidence used in POEMs, see http://www.essentialevidenceplus.com/product/ebm_loe.cfm?show=oxford.

To subscribe to a free podcast of these and other POEMs that appear in AFP,search in iTunes for “POEM of the Week” or go to http://goo.gl/3niWXb.

This series is coordinated by Sumi Sexton, MD, Associate Medical Editor.

A collection of POEMs published in AFP is available at http://www.aafp.org/afp/poems.



 

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