Arthritis is a disease that affects many people, causing them pain and disability. In order to get some relief people tend to try a variety of medicines. Normally, the main analgesic that people would use was aspirin, but it has been replaced with Advil and Aleve.
It is now known that aspirin, which is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, can cause gastrointestinal bleeding, and the same thing goes for Advil and Aleve. Because Tylenol has a wide use as an over-the-counter painkiller, many people have started using acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, in order to feel some pain relief.
Acetaminophen can help reduce fever and treat headaches, but it doesn’t do anything when it comes to inflammatory pains such as knee and hip arthritis. Despite the fact that acetaminophen is an analgesic it doesn’t have any anti-inflammatory properties.
Dr. Bruno R. da Costa from the Institute of Primary Health Care, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland and colleagues made a recent study in which they performed a meta-analysis in order to examine the effectiveness of NSAIDs when it comes to treating hip and knee osteoarthritis. They selected studies that included at least 100 patients in order to see how efficient in reducing pain acetaminophen, NSAIDs, or placebo really are. In order to get more accurate results they included 74 randomized trials with 59000 patients. The study was published in the journal The Lancet.
Although all the seven NSAIDs drugs included in the study managed to reduce pain, acetaminophen alone could. The researchers stated that using acetaminophen for treating patients with osteoarthritis is useless no matter the dose you take.
These are important results because a person that uses acetaminophen to treat arthritis pain might increase their dose up to a dangerous level if they feel that their lower dose is ineffective. It is a known fact that acetaminophen can be dangerous if taken even at slightly higher doses than the maximum daily dose, the main side effect being serious liver toxicity.
Due to this new information the FDA required that the normal dose of acetaminophen to be combined with narcotics like Vicodin and Percocet and the dose to be limited to 325 mg. The former amount of acetaminophen accepted in combination with narcotic painkillers was around 750 mg. The maximum dose of Tylenol has also been decreased by the FDA from four grams to three.
The subject still requires some cautions, and the consumers should pay more attention to the labels of any products that contain acetaminophen.
Sometimes acetaminophen is combined with over-the-counter cold and flu remedies and you can’t always tell from the labels. This type of practice shouldn’t be permitted just for the convenience of it.