The commonly-used over the counter drug paracetamol is ineffective for lower back pain, new research has suggested.
The painkiller had little effect on lower back pain and was found to have "small but not clinically important benefits" for people with osteoarthritis, the study by The George Institute for Global Health at the University of Sydney found. The team examined data from 13 clinical trials involving more than 5,000 people that looked at the effects of paracetamol use when compared with a placebo.
Paracetamol is currently recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) for both lower back pain and osteoarthritis.
The study, published in the British Medical Journal, found evidence that paracetamol has a significant but small effect in patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis, but said this was not likely to be meaningful for clinicians or patients.