Paracetamol delivers pain-relieving benefits from conditions such as fever, cold, backache, headache and arthritis. However, paracetamol can treat mild arthritis only and has no application in swelling and inflammation of joints. Arthritis has its major effects on knees and hips, and paracetamol gives little relief in such cases irrespective of how heavy the dose you take is.
Ineffective for treating osteoarthritis
People prefer paracetamol over other painkillers for treating joint pains because of the fewer side effects associated with it, but studies suggest that paracetamol is not a perfect remedy for arthritis and high dose taken for prolonged periods may result in many side effects. Moreover, the medicine is ineffective for osteoarthritis, one of the major problems in elderly people especially women. The clinical guidelines of NHS advise doctors not to prescribe paracetamol tablets for treating osteoarthritis, as it can be fatal by causing intestinal, kidney and heart problems. Paracetamol also lacks in providing effective pain relief for the hip and knee join pains associated with arthritis.
Neutral effect on pain
Researchers found that diclofenac is the most effective painkiller for treating pain but it is not appropriate for long-term use like the other NSAIDs, as it has a number of side effects. It is for this reason; doctors prescribe paracetamol to manage long duration pains. Through the years, paracetamol and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been the primary line of treatment for treating moderate pain in osteoarthritis. However, meta-analysis shows that paracetamol had improved results compared to placebo, irrespective of the dose and had an effect size of -0.17 whereas -0.37 is necessary for being clinically important. This means that paracetamol had almost a neutral effect on pain.
Several studies reveal that paracetamol is not the right solution for treating pain caused by arthritis, as its long-term use can cause heart and gastrointestinal problems.