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Paracetamol no better than placebo for low-back pain

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Lancet (2014), 24 July doi: 10.1016/ S0140-6736(14)60805-9

Paracetamol does not hasten recovery from low-back pain compared with placebo, according to a randomised trial that involved 235 primary care centres in Australia. The authors suggest that healthcare professionals should reconsider recommending paracetamol as a firstline treatment for low-back pain.

During the study, 550 patients with acute low back pain took paracetamol regularly three times per day (3990 mg per day) for up to four weeks. Another 546 took paracetamol when needed (maximum 4000 mg per d

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