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Randomised controlled trial
Up to 4000 mg of paracetamol a day is ineffective for acute low back pain
  1. Andrew Moore
  1. Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to : Dr Andrew Moore, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, The Churchill, Oxford OX3 7LE, UK; andrew.moore{at}

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Commentary on: OpenUrlCrossRefPubMedWeb of Science.


Back pain affected 9% in a global prevalence study1 and acute low back pain had an incidence of 38/1000 person-years in a large US armed forces survey.2 It is a common reason for seeing a general practitioner. Paracetamol taken regularly is advised as the first drug treatment option by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).


This large (N=1650) randomised, double-blind, double-dummy clinical trial tested paracetamol in acute low back pain.3 Regular paracetamol (3 times per day, 3990 mg) and as-needed …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.