Following on from another post regarding paracetamol I noticed that almost every sub-thread includes at least one response along the lines of “safe, negligible side-effects, painkiller, better than x, just paracetamol etc etc ”, and despite posting a link to one of the most trustworthy research organisations there is that clearly shows paracetamol is not very effective and is actively harmful - nobody seemed to even notice.
So I have started another thread so that everyone sees it and maybe actually reads the link(s):
If you aren’t familiar with Cochrane, read up on it. They are one of the most respected research organisations there is, and they do rather large meta-analyses taking into account all of the relevant studies and pooling all of the data.
This is a quote from one of the above links:
“So how does paracetamol stack up against what people with acute back pain want? A Cochrane review is unequivocal – it doesn’t work”.
It doesn’t work.
That specific quote was about lower-back pain, but if you read the link you will see that there is almost no evidence that paracetamol works for any pain at all. And if it does, the effect is too small to be worth the risk. Particularly if you take it long-term or in high (read: normal maximum) doses.
But, but it’s safe, no? No:
“In England and Wales an estimated 41,200 cases of paracetamol poisoning occurred in 1989 to 1990, with a mortality of 0.40%. It is estimated that 150 to 200 deaths and 15 to 20 liver transplants occur as a result of poisoning each year in England and Wales.”
So, it doesn’t work and it kills people.
Why do we carry on using it?
For myself I found NSAIDS to be far more effective against inflammatory pain. Even opiates make almost no difference to me when I am feeling RA pain. Diclofenic works a treat, but that is also really, really bad for you. As are the Proton Pump Inhibitors that are commonly prescribed alongside them — but at least they work! My Rheumatologist has always accepted that diclofenac is really not very good for you, but he realises that it is a balance between effectiveness and harm.
Paracetamol is not even effective, and is still harmful.
I will welcome any responses that show any eveidence to show that what I am saying is wrong, and please understand that I am saying this because nobody realises that it doesn’t work and we all take it thinking “at least it doesn’t harm me” and I’d rather people didn’t just take something for no reason.