The paracetamol It is one of the most consumed drugs in the world. It is a common analgesic, which in much of the planet can be purchased without a prescription and is used both for mild or moderate punctual pain and, in some cases, in the long-term treatment of pain. chronic pain.
Gastrointestinal bleeding and increased blood pressure
However, in recent years this last use has been questioned by the scientific community.. And it is that, although it was already known that paracetamol can produce Adverse effects (as it happens, on the other hand, with any drug).
Thus, for example, a meta-analysis carried out in 2018 by a team of British researchers and published in the scientific media British Journal of Pharmacology found that continuous treatment with paracetamol was associated with a significant increase in the risk of suffering an increase in systolic pressure and gastrointestinal bleeding. Likewise, the work indicates that some research has linked chronic exposure to paracetamol with cardiovascular, renal, hepatic, neurological and reproductive problems; however, they clarify, in all these cases the available evidence is much less solid.
Despite this, the authors conclude that paracetamol is still a good treatment option for those with chronic pain who experience symptomatic improvement when taking the drug, as the remaining options have similar risks (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) or much more severe risks (opioid drugs).
And it is that another point to take into account is that the efficacy of paracetamol in patients with chronic pain has also been questioned for some time. In fact, he mentions an article published in The Conversationseveral large cohort studies have found that paracetamol no more effective than placebo in the treatment of chronic pain such as back pain or arthritis. For this reason, in cases of sustained pain over time, it is always advisable to discuss the particularities of the case with a professional, so that they can determine which is the best option for us.
McCrae, JC, Morrison, EE, MacIntyre, IM, Dear, JW, and Webb, DJ (2018) Long-term adverse effects of paracetamol – a review. Br J Clin Pharmacol, 84: 2218–2230. https://doi.org/10.1111/bcp.13656.
Andrew Moore. What’s the point of paracetamol? The Conversation (2016). Retrieved online at https://theconversation.com/whats-the-point-of-paracetamol-66808 on August 18, 2022.