Acetaminophen (paracetamol) is the most commonly used analgesic worldwide and recommended as first-line treatment in all pain conditions by WHO. We performed a systematic literature review to evaluate the efficacy of acetaminophen when used for chronic pain conditions. Applying three broad search strategies for acetaminophen use in chronic pain in both Embase and PubMed, 1,551 hits were obtained. Following cross-reference searches of both trials and 38 reviews, seven studies comparing acetaminophen in continuous dosing regimens of more than two weeks with placebo were included. The review was conducted according to PRISMA guidelines. All studies were conducted in patients with hip- or knee osteoarthritis and six out of seven studies had observation periods of less than three months. All included studies showed no or little efficacy with dubious clinical relevance. In conclusion, there is little evidence to support the efficacy of acetaminophen treatment in patients with chronic pain conditions. Assessment of continuous efficacy in the many patients using acetaminophen worldwide is recommended. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Journal review article
Basic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, 2016, Vol 118, Issue 3, p. 184-189