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Paracetamol does not reduce pain or improve function in osteoarthritis, study shows

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i1609 (Published 18 March 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i1609
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. London

Paracetamol had virtually no effect on pain or function in patients with osteoarthritis, shows a large meta-analysis that found the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diclofenac to be more effective.1

Paracetamol and NSAIDs are commonly used to treat pain associated with osteoarthritis. But the wide range of different preparations and dosages complicates prescribing decisions, and systematic reviews have previously reported their effects on reducing pain when compared with placebo, so this has not allowed for comparisons between different agents.

To compare different …

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