Paracetamol Found To Be Ineffective

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This year alone, we’ve written five times the numerous dangers of the seemingly harmless over-the-counter drug, paracetamol (acetaminophen).

In recent years, research has linked paracetamol to Alzheimer’s, dementia, liver damage and when used as a hangover treatment (even after drinking a small to moderate amount of alcohol) it increases the risk of kidney disease by a staggering 123 per cent.

Paracetamol lands 78,000 people in A&E every year and is the leading cause of liver failure in the US. Put plainly, it’s not as safe as doctors would like you to believe.

Ineffective… and that’s it!

One of the most common reasons your doctor might tell you to take paracetamol is for lower back pain. Believe it or not, no one ever took the time to find out if it really works for that.

So when researchers in Australia set out to prove how great this drug works for back pain, they got some really surprising results.

Lead researcher Dr. Christopher Williams summed up the results by saying: “Our results – based on over 1600 patients – provide clear evidence that acetaminophen is ineffective for low back pain.”

It’s not like Dr. Williams and his team didn’t try hard enough to prove the lower back pain benefits of paracetamol. In the group assigned to take paracetamol, they were told to take a daily dose of 3990mg!

A daily dose that high is pushing the envelope for needing a liver transplant… if you’re lucky… and yet, still, even at that super-high dose, paracetamol was useless.

All three groups in this study, the ones who took the giant liver-damaging dose, the ones who took the drug only when needed, and the ones who took a placebo pill, had similar results. It took them all the same time to recover, and they all reported the same amount of pain.

So the researchers said that maybe 4000mg a day of paracetamol would have been more effective! You can see they were really hoping this study would turn out differently… because it was financed by the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

GSK manufactures the paracetamol drug Panadol, so you can be sure the company didn’t like these results one bit… And because the study was published in the prestigious journal Lancet, GSK wasted no time in chiming in. It said that the study shouldn’t change paracetamol’s status as the “first line” treatment for back pain.

What? Even if it doesn’t work?!

McNeil, the company that makes Tylenol, is just as unhappy. It said that doctors should “re-consider the study results,” whatever that means.

The fact is, this study adds to the many reasons for avoiding drugs that contain paracetamol. Our regular readers know that at best, taking paracetamol is a risky proposition. And taking 4000mg a day can be a deadly one because even the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said earlier this year that prescription drugs with over 325mg of paracetamol “are no longer considered safe.”

Now we also know that paracetamol is not only unsafe, it’s also ineffective.


Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.

Sources:

“Acetaminophen doesn’t reduce lower-back pain, study suggests” Rachael Rettner, July 24, 2014, Fox News, foxnews.com

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  • You report that the FDA said earlier this year that prescription drugs with over 325mg of paracetamol “are no longer considered safe.” The three versions of GSK’s Panadol are each 500mg per tablet, and the recommended dose for adults is two tablets every four hours, maximum eight tablets per 24 hours. The only product I have found with less than 325ml is Tesco’s Six Plus Paracetamol Suspension, with 250mg per 5ml spoonful. What do the UK medical authorities recommend as a maximum safe dose?

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