Paracetamol & Co help little with back pain

The usual painkillers are of little help against the pain in the back. In some cases, however, they have considerable side effects. Doctors and pharmacologists from Australia recently drew attention to this in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Machado GC et al.: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for spinal pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2017 Feb 2

Plagues A back or neck pain is the grip to the tablet for many almost pure routine. But how good are painkillers like paracetamol, diclofenac or ibuprofen really? To get to the bottom of this question, Australian scientists have analysed data from 35 trials involving a total of more than 6000 patients. This showed that painkillers from the large group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can reduce pain and other impairments somewhat. However, they only have a minor influence on the course, duration and intensity of the symptoms and are no better than placebos. However, the small benefits of the drugs are offset by considerable side effects ranging from gastrointestinal complaints to menacing bleeding.

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