Welcome to The Times in Plain English   Click to listen highlighted text! Welcome to The Times in Plain English

Do Back Pain Drugs Work?

July 27, 2014
Plain English Version

back-pain-clipartDo the drugs work?  Tylenol, Anacin and Panadol are part of the acetaminophen family of drugs. Acetaminophens are used around the world. They are commonly used to relieve lower back pain.

A big study asked whether or not they really work. It involved the use of placebos. Placebos are harmless tablets. Subjects who take them in clinical tests think they are getting the actual drug being studied.

The study looked at the impact of acetaminophens on the length of recovery, amount of pain, and changes in symptoms, sleep or quality of life.

Researchers divided adults with back pain into three groups.

Group 1 got two boxes. The first contained 500-milligram acetaminophen tablets for daily use. The second contained “as needed” acetaminophen tablets in the same dosage.

Group 2 got two boxes. The first contained the acetaminophen tablets. The second box contained placebo tablets.

Group 3 got two boxes.  Both boxes contained placebo tablets.

The results of the study came in. The three-month study found no differences among the groups. Acetaminophens worked no better than the placebos.

Three out of every four patients were satisfied with their treatment. It did not matter whether they received medicine, medicine and placebos or just placeboes.

A researcher said that if people believe acetaminophens work for them, they should keep using them.

As of now, acetaminophens are still considered helpful for toothaches, headaches and pain after surgery. Lower back pain is different.

Source: The New York Times July 23, 2014

Print Friendly

In Brief

Too Many Antibiotics Can Make Children Heavier

Children who use a lot of antibiotics gain more weight than others. The weight they gain may stay with them into adulthood.

A study of...

Enemy of the Day: Sugar

The U.S. government is saying how much sugar we should consume. They suggest that only 10 percent of the average person’s calories should come...

Reduce Carbs or Fat: Which is the Best Way to Lose Weight?

According to one expert, “It is a lousy question.” Fats, he said, go from bad to good. All diets should have the “good” monounsaturated...

Warnings About Over-the-Counter Drugs

It is not always safe to take over-the-counter drugs (OTCs). The longer you take them, the greater the risk you will incur. They may...


  • dictionary
  • English Dictionary

Double click on any word on the page or type a word:

Powered by DictionaryBox.com
Click to listen highlighted text!